Fortunately, this scenario becomes reality each year for nearly 75 Oklahoma high school juniors as they travel to a weeklong, all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.
These bright students are members of Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives; they are selected for this opportunity by their respective electric co-op from a pool of talented candidates. It is not uncommon for electric cooperatives to express how challenging it is to determine their final delegates as the students pursuing this opportunity show exceptional leadership skills and commitment to their local communities. These young men and women represent our next generation of leaders. They are the people who will make our communities better places to live and lead businesses that will provide good jobs and valuable services.
Nationwide, electric cooperatives have sponsored Youth Tour for more than 50 years because—as not-for-profit, community-based organizations—we are committed to invest in our next generation of leaders. Collectively, nearly 1,800 students from electric co-op service areas nationwide travel to D.C. every summer for the opportunity to:
- Learn about electric co-ops and the cooperative business model
- Spend a day on Capitol Hill, including face-to-face meetings with their senators and members of Congress
- Visit monuments and memorials
- Explore museums
- Build lifelong friendships with other young leaders from across the country
Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives are proud to sponsor this leadership program for young leaders. We understand the trip is a transformational experience that shows students the power of democracy and the importance of leadership. We invite you to see the list of this year’s Oklahoma delegates on Pages 6 and 7 of this edition of Oklahoma Living magazine. Please join us in wishing the students safe travels and an empowering trip during this exciting journey.
To learn more, contact your electric cooperative about participant eligibility, application and selection process for their Youth Tour program. You never know when a young person in your life could be impacted by this outstanding youth leadership opportunity.