The Oklahoma Rural Electric Washington Youth Tour is an annual, weeklong, all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. that is open to select high school students who attend schools served by electric cooperatives.
Twenty-five of Oklahoma's electric cooperatives participate in the Washington Youth Tour. Nationwide, electric co-ops from 41 states participate. In all, more than 1,300 young people from across the nation gather in Washington, D.C. each year for this event.
The tour is coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative association (NRECA) and the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC). Local electric cooperatives sponsor contest to select students who will represent their service area as well as the entire state of Oklahoma during the Youth Tour trip.
During the Youth Tour, students follow state planed itineraries which include a day on Capitol Hill observing the House and Senate in session, and a breakfast with their states Congressional delegation. Also conducted is a series of educational seminars to help students learn more about cooperatives. These seminars are conducted by NRECA staff members, state coordinators, and past Youth Tour participants.
Oklahoma's electric co-ops send students to Washington for a number of reasons including:
- rewarding students for academic achievement and community leadership;
- educating students about the role of electric co-ops in the national economy;
- fostering students' appreciation for the democratic form of government;
- exposing students to the sights and sounds of our nation's heritage; and
- building students' leadership skills so that they may make a difference in their communities.
Interested in being selected for next summer’s Youth Tour to Washington D.C.?
Contact Northfork Electric's Kari Payne at 580-928-3366 to learn more about this exciting opportunity!