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What is the Government-in-Action Youth Tour?
Every June, as many as 1,700 high school students from across the country spend a week in the nation's capital as part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. The students are sponsored by electric cooperatives – cooperatives that are committed to educating America's rural youth about America and the role electric cooperatives play in developing strong rural communities.
Participating in the Youth Tour is an awesome way to learn about this great nation, develop leadership skills, gain a better understanding of electric cooperatives, and make friendships that will last beyond the week!
Local students Kameryn Mathis from Haskell High School and Mikel-Ann Terry and Jessy Villagomez from Roby High School will represent BCEC in Washington, D.C. on the 2018 Youth Tour.
These three area students won Big Country Electric Cooperative’s video contest, and the prize is a place on the 2018 Government-in-Action Youth Tour, an all-expenses-paid leadership trip to the nation’s capital, June 6-15, with 150 fellow Texas students and 1,700 young adults from around the country. Callie Hargrove of Snyder/Borden County High School and Devin Hughes of Stamford High School are runners-up. Additionally, each winner and runner-up will receive a $1,500 scholarship.
Thirty-nine local students submitted excellent videos on the topic: Tell the story of electric cooperatives. The winning videos will be shown at the co-op’s annual membership meeting in April.
Youth Tour has been a Texas co-op tradition since 1965, when co-ops—inspired by then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson who encouraged youths to go to Washington to see their American heritage and government at work, “what the flag stands for and represents”—began sponsoring teens on this trip. Educating and mentoring young people fit in with co-ops’ mission to support the communities they serve. Since the 1960s, nearly 4,000 Texans and more than 50,000 young Americans have taken advantage of this special opportunity offered by their electric cooperatives. have gone on what many call the trip of a lifetime since the program’s inception.
The adventure will begin in Austin, where winners from across the state are greeted by Texas Electric Cooperatives, the association that organizes the state’s participation in Youth Tour. From there, the planned agenda includes a tour of the State Capitol and Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum before boarding a flight to Washington, D.C. Once there, the itinerary is jam-packed with sightseeing and meaningful events, including attending a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, attending appointments with elected officials, visiting Washington National Cathedral, Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian Institution, a performance at the famed Kennedy Center, and a dinner and dancing cruise on the Potomac River.
So much more than a sightseeing trip, Youth Tour allows students to meet others from all over the country and return home with a deeper understanding of themselves, the world and what it takes to be leaders—and they often put their newly acquired skills to use right here in their home community. After an amazing week in Washington, the students will bring home friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.
For more information about the Government-in-Action Youth Tour, visit TexasYouthTour.com, find the Texas Youth Tour Alumni page on Facebook or inquire at Big Country Electric Cooperative. Information about the 2019 contest will be posted here in October 2018. Check it out to find out how YOU can take the trip of a lifetime!