Local Students Discover D.C. and Cooperatives

June 30, 2016

What do you get when you add seven students to a mix of 1,700 of their peers from across the United States? You get the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour! This year seven students from REC service territory were awarded this opportunity.

These students were selected as the best representatives from a diverse group of applicants. Together with chaperones from REC they spent a week touring Washington, D.C. and learning how critical it is to become involved in the legislative process and in their local communities.

“Youth Tour is such a great opportunity that changes these students’ lives,” said Brian Wolfe, Youth Tour coordinator at REC. “This experience helps prepare them for their futures. After touring our nation’s capital, meeting congressional representatives, and learning firsthand about how our government operates, they return home with knowledge they may not have learned anywhere else at this age, and memories that will last a lifetime.”

REC’s students explored key issues in the electric industry, studied the cooperative business model, interacted with students in team and leadership building programs, toured historical and cultural sights and attended a Washington Nationals baseball game. Youth Tour was inspired by Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson when he addressed the NRECA Annual Meeting in 1957. The Senator and future president declared, "If one thing goes out of this meeting, it will be sending youngsters to the national capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents."

”Youth Tour was such an awesome opportunity for not only learning about cooperatives and the political process, but forming lifelong friendships,” said Justin Petrie. “And I loved learning about how much of an impact cooperatives have on our society and how many there actually are.”

2016 REC Youth Tour Delegates

Justin Petrie – Sherando High School – Frederick County

Joshua Racer – Rappahannock High School – Rappahannock County

Holli Foster – Orange County High School – Orange County

Andres Carr – Chancellor High School – Spotsylvania County

Elizabeth Dalton – Clarke County High School – Clarke County

Jonathan Spaulding – Patrick Henry High School – Hanover County

Annelise Wright – William Monroe High School – Greene County

REC provides electric service to over 161,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 16,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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2016 Youth Tour StudentsStudents from REC's service territory visited Washington, D.C., as part of the 2016 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Front row ,left to right: Elizabeth Dalton, Holli Foster and Annelise Wright. Back row, left to right: Johnathan Spaulding, Josh Racer, Andres Carr and Justin Petrie.