By Dustin Gerding
Since 1964, the nation’s electric cooperatives have sponsored more than 50,000 high school students for the Youth Tour trip. To compete, high school juniors submit an essay on a selected topic. Participating school districts include Bourbon, Cuba, Owensville, St. Clair, Steelville, Sullivan, Union and Viburnum. Each school may enter three essays. From these 24 essays, nine are selected as finalists. These finalists are invited to a selection event where they demonstrate co-op knowledge and are interviewed by independent judges. The top three finishers become Crawford Electric’s Youth Tour delegates who will later travel to Washington D.C; the six runners-up are invited to Missouri’s Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience (CYCLE). Bourbon’s Blake Beckett was chosen as one of the top three finishers after the selection event. In June, Beckett will travel to Washington to join winners from 39 states for an incredible week -all expenses paid- at our nation’s capital. The tour is a fast-paced leadership opportunity to see what makes America tick.
This will be Missouri’s 54th annual Rural Electric Youth Tour.
Teresa Pasch was selected as runner-up, and is invited to CYCLE. This award-winning program offers students an action-filled three days to develop their leadership skills. Here, Pasch will travel with five other finalists to Jefferson City to learn more about government and the cooperative form of business. The program includes nationally known speakers and a day at the Missouri State Capitol learning how a bill becomes a law.