CREWE, Va. – Eight high school students representing Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) participated in the 50th Annual National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Washington Youth Tour, from June 15-19. The students, all rising seniors from high schools within SEC’s service area, joined 1,600 other participants from electric co-ops across the nation to learn about the legislative process, the importance of civic involvement and how to better serve their local communities.
The following students represented SEC at the 2014 Youth Tour:
Hunter Leslie, a rising senior at Amelia County H.S., is the daughter of Shelby Leslie & Ed Rogerville of Amelia.
Cheyenne Urbine, a rising senior at Powhatan H.S., is the daughter of Candy Salyer & Louis Urbine of Powhatan.
Chelesea Harrison, a rising senior at Prince Edward County H.S., is the daughter of Melissa Gough of Prospect.
Jonathan M. Britt, a rising senior at Prince Edward County H.S., is the son of James & Angela Bailey of Pamplin.
Devan E. Eppes, a rising senior at Prince Edward County H.S., is the son of Larry Eppes & Janet Jamerson of Farmville.
David Gills, a rising senior at Prince Edward County H.S., is the son of Teresa & Watt Gills of Rice.
Claire Drummond, a rising senior at Prince Edward County H.S., is the daughter of Susan Jane & Chris Drummond of Farmville.
Kora Webb, a rising senior at Prince Edward County H.S., is the daughter of Emma & David Webb of Green Bay.
The participants toured Capitol Hill and met with U.S. Reps. Robert Hurt and Randy Forbes and U.S. Senator Mark Warner, before visiting a variety of cultural and historical sites, including Arlington National Cemetery, Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Center, and the Newseum. Students also enjoyed a twilight cruise on the Potomac River, and a performance of “The Lion King” at the Kennedy Center.
“It was really cool to talk with Congressman Hurt and learn about politics up-close. Plus, we made new friends from nearly every state and experienced history first-hand. It really made me think about what it means to be an American, and shows that people my age do care about this country,” remarked Claire Drummond.
As part of NRECA-sponsored National Youth Day on June 16, all of the state groups convened to learn from inspirational speakers. This year’s agenda included Mike Schlappi, a four-time Paralympic Medalist and two-time world Champion Wheelchair Basketball champion. Schlappi shared his inspiring message for both young and old: “Just because you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out!”
Since 1964, the nation’s electric cooperative utilities have sponsored more than 50,000 high school juniors and seniors, and enabled them to visit their U.S. congressional delegations, learn from energy, grassroots and policy education sessions, and sightsee in the nation’s capital. NRECA is the national service organization representing the nation’s 905 consumer owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, which provide electric service to 42 million people in 47 states.
For more about the Youth Tour program, visit www.youthtour.coop or www.sec.coop/YouthTour.
Headquartered in Crewe, Virginia, SEC is a member-owned distribution electric utility serving more than 45,000 members throughout southern and central Virginia. For more information about SEC, please visit us @ www.sec.coop on Facebook: SouthsideElectric or Twitter: @SouthsideEC.