2020 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour

Youth Tour scholarship winners Faith Ashley (L) and Jamiqua Heckstall (R) in front of U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Youth Tour scholarship winners Faith Ashley (L) and Jamiqua Heckstall (R) in front of U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Are you a high school student interested in spending a week in Washington, D.C., leaning about government, U.S. history and the cooperative business model, while building your leadership skills and making new friends from across the state and nation?

If so, Roanoke Electric Co-op invites you to apply for the 2020 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. The co-op is currently accepting applications from local students to attend the week-long trip June 20-26, 2020.

The Youth Tour allows students to experience the nation’s capital and learn more about how they can make a difference as young adults. Tourists will learn about the cooperative business model and values, visit historic monuments and memorials, pay their respects at The Arlington National Cemetery, meet elected officials and tour a variety of Smithsonian museums, all while building a peer network with young leaders from across the country.

“If you’re a high school student who wants to grow as a leader, NC Youth Tour is the perfect opportunity to build your skills, gain new experiences and form valuable relationships with others,” said Roanoke Electric Co-op Chief Operating Officer Marshall Cherry. “Youth Tour has something to offer to everyone and can help prepare you for future success on any path you pursue after high school.”

Roanoke Electric Co-op 2019 Youth Tour scholarship winners Faith Ashley and Jamiqua Heckstall echoed Cherry’s comments on the value of participating in the annual event and urged others to apply for the co-op’s two scholarship opportunities.

“I have never experienced anything like this trip,” said Heckstall upon returning this summer from the trip to D.C. “I met so many people and engaged in so many eye-opening activities that helped me gain knowledge on things I never even knew about. I particularly enjoyed meeting U.S. Congresswoman Alma Adams, who represents North Carolina’s 12th congressional district. I can honestly say it was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever taken. I definitely recommend other students apply for Roanoke Electric Co-op’s Youth Tour scholarships.”

For Ashley, the experience has motivated her to learn more about electric co-ops, government and politics. “I had the privilege to learn so many new things about our government, history, and our co-ops. The best part of my experience was Capitol Hill Day, as it was one of the most educational parts of the trip. I learned so much more about my government and how to get more involved,” she said. “Since the trip, I have been more active in politics and learning more about our government. I have watched all the recent debates, and I’m getting prepared to go to the voting booth when the time comes. I would definitely suggest to other students that they apply for the youth tour scholarship. It is a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget and one of the most memorable moments of my life.”

Next year, the co-op will sponsor two local students to join the North Carolina Youth Tour delegation, June 20-26, 2020. The all-expense-paid, week-long tour is hosted by electric co-ops nationwide, with more than 1,800 students from 40 states expected to participate. North Carolina’s electric co-ops will send a delegation of about 45 students.

Students entering their senior year in the Fall of 2020 are encouraged to apply by submitting an application. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20, 2019.