Rural Electric Youth Tour ProgramGulf Coast Electric Cooperative Sponsors Washington, D. C. Trip for Local Students
WEWAHITCHKA, Fla., June 29, 2012 – Alexa Allison and Blake Brannon recently
|Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative was recently represented in Washington at the Rural Electric Youth Tour by Alexa Allison, left, and Blake Brannon, right. The students enjoyed meeting Representative Steve Southerland at the Capitol.|
|Blake Brannon and Alexa Allison, who represented Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative at the Rural Electric Youth Tour in Washington, take a minute to pose for a picture outside of the White House.|
Each year, the Cooperative sponsors the Youth Tour contest for eleventh-graders whose parents are members of GCEC. Contestants are interviewed by a panel of three judges from the electric cooperative industry, and two winners are chosen to travel on an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D. C. in June.
While in Washington, the students toured the numerous museums; Arlington National Cemetery; the Iwo Jima Monument; the U. S. Capitol area; the Korean, Lincoln, Vietnam, FDR, Jefferson and World War II Memorials; Mt. Vernon; and the National Cathedral. They also enjoyed the U. S. Marine Corps Sunset Parade; a boat cruise and dance on the Potomac River; and ended their trip by seeing the musical Memphis at the Kennedy Center.
A highlight of the trip was the National Youth Day rally, where they joined other eleventh graders from across the nation.
“We were proud to have Alexa and Blake represent Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative in Washington,” GCEC Manager of Marketing and Member Services Kristin Evans said.
The Washington, D. C. Youth Tour Program has been in existence since 1958 when 34 students from Iowa and a handful of chaperones visited Washington for a weeklong study tour. By 1964, the program was catching on, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association began to coordinate the efforts of the co-ops. Since then, thousands of young people have experienced this once-
Washington Youth Tour
Each year, Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative hosts a Washington, D. C. Youth Tour contest. This annual event allows local students an opportunity to compete for a week-long trip to Washington D.C., as well as learn about our state’s history with a two-day tour of Tallahassee.
Local civic organizations and schools play an important role in the contest by nominating a student to represent their organization in the Youth Tour competition. All Youth Tour contestants have the opportunity to participate in a two-day trip to our state’s capital. While in Tallahassee, these participants are joined by eleventh-grade participants from other electric cooperatives across the state. During their visit, the youth visit various sites including the House of Representatives, Senate, Supreme Court, Vietnam Memorial and the Old Capitol.
During the competition, each student participates in an oral interview scored by a panel of three judges. The students are asked questions about Gulf Coast, rural electrification and current events. Each student is then graded on a 100-point scale that is divided into four categories; poise, communication ability, knowledge of subject matter and community service. At the end of the competition, two winners and an alternate are chosen to represent Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative at the national level. These students will participate in the all-expenses-paid trip to the national Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. in June. During this time, there are more than 1,000 students from across the country representing their local electric cooperatives.
The Youth Tour competition is a great opportunity for us to reward local students for being outstanding leaders in their communities.