Thanks to the Rural Electrification Act, farmers and ranchers took it upon themselves to create their own member-owned utilities called cooperatives. This can-do spirit combined with the mission of giving back to the community is why electric cooperatives sponsor local students in the Youth Tour program. The weeklong, all-expense paid trips give students the opportunity to learn more about their country, the political process and interact with their elected officials.
More than 1,500 students from across America take part in the Youth Tour experience each year, and so can you! Travel to Washington, D.C., where you will meet your U.S. Representatives and Senators. This unique trip will give you the opportunity to watch history come alive as you explore the museums, memorials and monuments of our Capital City. Bottom line, you will make friendships that will last a lifetime and be part of a group that has more than 50,000 alumni in every walk of life including U.S. Senators and CEOs. Visit NRECA or KEC to learn more about the program.
Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp
The Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp (CYLC) is a week-long seminar offered in partnership by electric cooperatives in Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, and Oklahoma. Each July, nearly 100 students travel to Steamboat Springs, CO to develop leadership skills and learn about the electric industry. Students will create their own “candy cooperative,” complete with board of trustees and general manager selected by the students. Of course, there are also plenty of opportunities for recreation and sightseeing, including white water rafting, touring the Craig Power Plant and Trapper Mine, and exploring Steamboat Village. Visit KEC to learn more about the program.
How to Apply
The Youth Tour program is open to high school students currently in their sophomore or junior year, whose parent or guardian has electric service with Ninnescah. The program is also open to students living on Ninnescah’s service, even if the membership is not in their parent or guardian’s name. Beginning in December, students may pick up an application from our website or their school counselor and should return applications to Ninnescah by mid-January. More specific dates will be posted as we get closer to the application period.
Once applications have been submitted and reviewed, all applicants are invited to take a brief quiz and participate in an interview, usually held sometime in February or March. Prior to the quiz and interview, students will receive a detailed packet of information to help them prepare (topics covered include the cooperative industry, Ninnescah’s history, and electricity). Don’t let the idea of a quiz or interview scare you! Just think of it like a regular job interview and know that this experience will be good practice for the future.
The judges will choose one winner and one alternate for both the Youth Tour and CYLC trips and will announce their selections at the Annual Meeting at the end of March.
If you have any questions about the application process or the trips, feel free to contact Nancy Aschenbrenner, Ninnescah’s Youth Tour Coordinator.