Zach Newberry of Marionville High School, son of Nicole Mayne and Stanley Newberry, was among the 103 high school students from across Missouri who participated in the Missouri Electric Cooperative CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) program. The conference was held July 17-19 in Jefferson City. Newberry and Chase Anna Marie Baxter of Crane High School were sponsored by Ozark Electric Cooperative in Mt. Vernon.

Each year in July, an action-filled three days provides high school students opportunities to learn first-hand what it is like to be involved in politics, the cooperative form of business and being a leader. The program included nationally known speakers and time at the Missouri State Capitol learning how a bill goes through the process to become a law. The delegation also had the special experience of meeting Governor Mike Parson and being invited personally by him to his office where he took time to speak to them about being a public servant and how they can give back to their communities.

To learn more about electric cooperatives, the group was divided up into teams that competed in various events like the “build a cooperative” game. Another highlight was hearing from the Rachel’s Challenge Organization. Rachel Scott’s family and friends speak to youth around the world about her legacy of being a positive role model to everyone she met in life. Students also toured the Winston Churchill Museum in Fulton and saw a live powerline demonstration at Callaway Electric Cooperative.

The CYCLE program is in its 16th year and is a recipient of the National Community Youth Service award for the top youth program among all electric cooperatives in the country.

For more information about Ozark Electric’s youth programs, contact coordinator Linda Stander at 466-2317 or