Four Southern Maryland high school students joined students from across the country for the 2019 Youth Tour in Washington, DC, in June. The students were hosted for the event by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, and were able to meet students from other cooperatives all over the United States.
SMECO chaperones Natalie Cotton and Charlie Herbert went along with Briana Bowen of St. Mary’s Ryken High School, Nia Mack of Maurice J. McDonough High School, Jacob Gilbert of Patuxent High School, and Sydney Walters of Gwynn Park High School to the 2019 Youth Tour.
The goal in attending the Youth Tour is for students to learn more about the United States government in action. As they went through their weeklong study tour of the nation’s capital, the participating students met members of Congress, attended workshops that gave information on the roles that cooperatives play in communities, and visited an electric cooperative opportunity fair.
As they attended Youth Tour, one student from each state is chosen to represent their state on the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Leadership Council (YLC). Briana Bowen of St. Mary’s Ryken High School received the honor of being chosen as the Maryland Youth Leadership Council delegate.
The chosen delegates returned to Washington, DC, in July for a leadership workshop that had a focus on the electric cooperative industry.
In 1964, about 400 young people from 12 states attended the first event. Since that time, the Youth Tour has continued to grow, and in 2019, more than 2,000 young people and chaperones represented 43 states. Over its history, more than 50,000 students have participated in the Youth Tour.
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