Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Strengthens Leadership Skills

Since the 1950s, America’s rural Electric Cooperatives have sent the brightest young leaders from their communities on an unforgettable weeklong trip to Washington, D.C. The trip, called the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, lets high school students tour museums, visit landmarks, and meet elected officials — absolutely free.

Missouri Students Join Students from Other States

Each year, Missouri Electric Cooperative Youth Tour delegates meet and make friends with approximately 1500 students from around the United States. In total, the program has more than 50,000 alumni, including U.S. Senators and corporate CEOs.

Investing in the Future of Rural Missouri

Youth who are selected for the Washington, D.C. trip come home inspired by the history of rural electrification and with a deeper understanding of the importance of federal policy on how our Cooperatives operate. Delegates grow in their word views and come home better-ready to engage in local and national advocacy efforts.

Barry Hart, CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) explains that, “the Youth Tour and CYCLE [Link to CYCLE post] programs are two great ways our cooperatives can get involved with helping develop leadership potential in our younger members. The future economic viability of rural communities depends on the cooperatives developing their rural leadership. These kids are our future (source).”

Policy, leadership, and economic development are all incredibly valuable to our rural Missouri communities, but delegates often come away from the Youth Tour with something even better: they make lifelong memories, see some of the country’s most important historical sites and monuments, and make friends they stay in touch with for years to come.

Mike Marsch, Director of Member Services for the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC), said in a press release that, “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 (source).”

The Youth Tour is an exciting opportunity for Missouri students, and it’s one that your Cooperatives have participated in since 1964. That year, 22 Cooperatives sent 58 delegates. Fifty years later, thirty Cooperatives sent 89 delegates. In total, more than 3,400 Missourian high school students have participated.

How To Apply for the Youth Tour

If you’re interested in being a Missouri delegate of the Youth Tour, contact your Missouri Electric Cooperative to find out more about your Cooperative’s application process and deadlines.

Not sure how to find your Cooperative? Try using this tool on the NRECA website, or contact the Association of Missouri Rural Electric Cooperatives by calling 573-635-6857.

Learn more about Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives, and how we work to provide safe, efficient energy to rural Missouri by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.


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