Youth Tour


2017 Youth Tour Winners

Two high school students from Ouachita Electric's service area have been selected to travel to Washington, D.C. in June to attend the 2017 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. The seven day trip, sponsored by the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, includes tours of the major sites in and around Washington, such as the White House, U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress, Mount Vernon, the museums of the Smithsonian, Arlington National Cemetery and the FDR, Jefferson, Lincoln, Vietnam, Korean and World War II Memorials. Jayln Bounds, Arkansas Virtual Academy, and Wyatt Williams, Bearden High School, will be representing Ouachita Electric on the trip, which is set for June 9-15. They were selected through an essay contest. These two students, along with approximately 40 other students from the electric cooperatives across Arkansas, will travel to Washington, D.C. where they will join about 1,600 students from across the nation who are attending the tour. Through the Youth Tour, these students will have the opportunity to learn more about their nation's government and electric cooperatives, as well as develop leadership skills. Congratulations Jayln and Wyatt! We hope you enjoy your trip!



2016 Youth Tour Winners

Two high school students from Ouachita Electric’s service area have been selected to travel to Washington, D. C. in June to attend the 2016 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. The eight-day trip, sponsored by the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, includes tours of the major sites in and around Washington, such as the White House, U. S. Capitol, Library of Congress, Mount Vernon, the museums of the Smithsonian, Arlington National Cemetery and the FDR, Jefferson, Lincoln, Vietnam, Korean and World War II Memorials.

Photo of Shalexis Shelton Photo of Natalie Ferguson
Shalexis Shelton Natalie Ferguson

 

Shalexis Shelton and Natalie Ferguson, both students at Hampton High School, will be representing Ouachita Electric on the trip, which is set for June 8-16. They were selected through an essay contest. These two students, along with approximately 40 other students from electric cooperatives across Arkansas, will travel to Washington, D. C. where they will join about 1,600 students from across the nation who are attending the tour. Through the Youth
Tour, these students will have the opportunity to learn more about their nation’s government and the electric cooperatives, as well as develop leadership skills.

To learn more about the Youth Tour, visit: www.ecark.com and www.youthtour.coop.
 

Photo of the capitol buildingYouth Tour History

Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson inspired the Youth Tour when he addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Chicago 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." Consequently, some Texas electric cooperatives sent groups of young people to Washington to work during the summer in Senator Johnson's office. In 1958, a rural electric cooperative in Iowa sponsored the first group of 34 young people on a weeklong study tour of the nation's capital. Later that same year, another busload came to Washington from Illinois. The idea grew and other states sent busloads of young people throughout the summer. By 1959, the "Youth Tour" had grown to 130 youths.

In 1964, NRECA began to coordinate joint activities among the state delegations and suggested that co-op representatives from each state arrange to be in Washington, D.C. during Youth Tour week. The first year of the coordinated tour included approximately 400 young people from 12 states. Word of the program has continued to spread and today, more than 1,300 young people and their chaperones participate in the Youth Tour every year.

The statewide Youth Tour directors arrange their delegation's visits to their U.S. Representatives' and Senators' offices, federal agencies, and other educational and sightseeing activities. In addition to the planned statewide activities, the Youth Tour experience encompasses multi-state activities coordinated by NRECA.

Ouachita Electric has sponsored youth from our service area for many years. Students compete for the opportunity to participate by submitting an essay. Watch for details in the Rural Arkansas magazine for future Rural Electric Youth Tours.

Download the 2016 Application here

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