Seventy high school students participated in Missouri's 58th annual Missouri Electric Youth Tour, June 16-18. Local delegates sponsored by Cuivre River Electric Cooperative were Natalie Benton, Fort Zumwalt East High School; Ella Smith, Warrenton High School; and Jaden Zelidon, Taylor Shay-Jakul, Sanjana Anand and Amanda Yoder, all of Liberty High School.
While the traditional seven-day tour to Washington D.C. was unable to happen because of lingering COVID-19 concerns, that didn't stop Missouri's electric cooperatives from providing local students with a great opportunity. The 2021 delegates took part in a three-day conference, which offered them opportunities to learn firsthand what it is like to be involved in politics, serve in leadership positions, ways to serve their community and more.
The delegates sponsored by CREC also received a $1,000 scholarship and a laptop.
"The Youth Tour is the highlight of the summer for many students no matter the format and we're proud to have the best and brightest become a part of our Youth Tour family," said Chris Massman, Vice President of Member Services for the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
Highlights included the youth participating virtually with representatives from their congressional districts and taking online tours of famous monuments. The group also heard from past Youth Tour delegates, one of which is now a member of the United States Secret Service. These alumni spoke to them about their Youth Tour experiences and how the opportunity helped shape their future college and career choices.
Other events included participation in electrical related activities, which included the students making their own extension cords. This presentation was led by Keith Mueller, who is a former Youth Tour delegate and now an employee of a Missouri electric cooperative. The students also heard from representatives from State Technical College, Western Governors University (WGU) and the University of Missouri.
The conference wrapped up with a motivational speaker. Students heard from Dan Meers, who entertains people and speaks to them about the power of positivity. Dan is the man in the KC Wolf mascot costume at all Kansas City Chiefs games and when he's not entertaining 40,000 on gameday, he is traveling the country speaking to groups and telling his story.
For more information on the Youth Tour program, contact Tim Schmidt at 636-695-4837 or firstname.lastname@example.org.