One-hundred and six high school students participated in Missouri's 55th annual Missouri Electric Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., June 8-14. Local delegates were Abrianna Murphy, Marionville High School, daughter of Ronna Murphy, and Tucker Bittick, Mt. Vernon High School, son of Carrie and Jeff Andrews and Jason Bittick. They were sponsored by Ozark Electric Cooperative of Mt. Vernon. This is Ozark Electric Cooperative’s 45th year to send delegates on the Missouri Youth Tour.
Local high school juniors wrote and submitted essays to Ozark Electric Cooperative, and from the 73 essays received, 10 finalists were then interviewed. Murphy and Bittick placed first and second in the interviews to earn the trip as Ozark Electric Cooperative’s delegates.
The seven-day tour provides an action-filled week for high school students, offering them opportunities to learn firsthand what it is like to be involved in politics, leadership positions, community service and today’s pressing issues.
“The Youth Tour is the highlight of the summer for many students, and we’re proud to send our best and brightest to Washington, D.C. this year to participate,” said Chris Massman, Vice President of Member Services for the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
Highlights included the young people visiting with representatives from their congressional districts and touring famous monuments, the Smithsonian Institution’s museums and Arlington National Cemetery. The group also took a sightseeing and dance cruise on the Potomac River one evening with delegates from other states.
Other events of the week included participation in the Electric Youth Day, during which a special program coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association brought together more than 1,800 Youth Tour delegates from across the United States. The delegates enjoyed featured speeches by government leaders and motivational speakers, such as Mike Schlappi, an inspiring four-time Paralympic medalist and two-time world wheelchair basketball champion.
Since 1964, the nation’s cooperative electric utilities have sponsored more than 50,000 high school juniors and seniors for visits to their U.S. congressional delegations, energy and grassroots government education sessions and sightseeing in Washington. For more information about Ozark Electric Cooperative’s Annual Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington D.C. program, go to www.ozarkelectric.com/youth-tour.html.