|Olivia Oltrogge (left) and Caitlin Kruckenberg recently participated in the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour of Washington, D.C. Photo from IAEC.|
Olivia Oltrogge of Shellsburg and Caitlin Kruckenberg of Garrison recently participated in the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour of Washington, D.C., sponsored by ECI REC. They spent June 13-19 in D.C. with 32 peers from Iowa.
Each year in June, an action-filled week provides high school students opportunities to learn first hand what it is like to be involved in politics, community service, and today’s pressing issues in the energy industry. This year students were introduced to their elected representatives in the U.S. House and Senate, saw historic sites, and met nearly 1,600 students from across the country who participated in their states’ Youth Tour programs.
The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has been a joint effort of local electric co-ops such as ECI REC, their statewide co-op associations, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) based in Arlington, Virginia, for 50 years. Since 1964, they have sponsored more than 50,000 high school juniors and seniors for visits to their U.S. congressional delegations, energy and grassroots government education sessions, and sightseeing in Washington.
“The Youth Tour was so amazing,” said Kruckenberg. “It was really cool to meet my senator and representative, and learn about politics up-close. Plus, I made friends from nearly every state and experienced history first hand. It really made me think about what it means to be an American and shows that people my age do care about this country.”
In addition to taking in the sights of the nation’s capital, all the state groups convened for the Rural Electric Youth Day, sponsored by NRECA, to learn from public figures and other inspirational speakers. This year’s Youth Day agenda included Mike Schlappi, a four-time paralympic medallist and two-time world wheelchair basketball champion. Schlappi shared his inspiring message for every American, young or old: “Just because you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out.”
If you are interested in participating in next year’s Youth Tour program, contact us toll free at 877-850-4343 or visit our Youth Tour web page. Kruckenberg remarked,“I will never forget the lessons I have learned and the friendships I have formed. I would most definitely recommend this trip to anyone!”