|Caitlin Kruckenberg of Garrison reflects at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall. Photo by Shelly York, IAEC.|
Each year, ECI REC pays the way for two high school juniors to attend the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour of Washington, D.C. The agenda and opportunities impressed both 2014 winners, including Caitlin Kruckenberg of Garrison.
“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.
“I will never forget the lessons I have learned and the friendships I have formed. I would most definitely recommend this trip to anyone!”
The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has been offering students from across America an inside experience in D.C. for over 50 years. On this Youth Tour, approximately 1,500 youth participants visit historical sites, explore the Smithsonian Museum, meet congressional leaders, spend a day on Capitol Hill, cruise down the Potomac River, and learn about American history and government.
Perhaps more important than the sightseeing activities are the leadership opportunities the Youth Tour provides. ECI REC youth have a history of taking advantage of these opportunities. In 2011, Belle Plaine student Connor Roth, a 2010 Youth Tour alum, was chosen to represent Iowa on the Youth Leadership Council. Conner worked at the NRECA Congressional Action Center during the group’s annual meeting, encouraging cooperative members to contact their senators and representatives on key co-op issues. Youth Tour alum Dalton Schmit was chosen to participate in the 2013 Iowa Legislature Page Program, helped plan activities for the 2014 Youth Tour trip, and was a 2014 intern for Senator Tom Harkin.
This year’s event takes place June 12â€’18. To be eligible for the Youth Tour, students must have parents or legal guardians who are members of ECI REC. Applications can be found on our Youth Tour page and are due February 25. If you have further questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us toll free at 877-850-4343.