2023 Youth Tour WinnersFor yet another year, United Electric Cooperative is giving three high school juniors the opportunity of a lifetime - an expense-paid trip to our nation’s capital! For over 50 years, the Rural Electric Youth Tour has given high school juniors across the country the opportunity to spend six days in Washington, D.C., learning about our nation’s history and government firsthand while experiencing our nation’s capital. Rural electric cooperatives throughout the country sponsor delegates on the youth tour, which includes high school juniors from more than 40 states.

While on the Youth Tour, delegates will have the opportunity to meet with their senators and representatives. They will visit many of Washington D.C.’s historic landmarks, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Iwo Jima Memorial. Delegates will also visit national government houses, including the Capitol Building, the United States Supreme Court, and the National Archives. Also on the agenda are visits to some of Washington D.C.’s most famous landmarks,  Mt. Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian Museum, the Ford Theatre, the Washington Monument, and the Washington Cathedral.

In addition to the Youth Tour, two students will have the opportunity to win an expense-paid trip to the Missouri Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience Conference in Jefferson City, MO. This three-day conference brings together some of the top young leaders to focus on how electric cooperatives work, teach leadership skills and experience our local government at work. The agenda includes nationally known speakers and a day at the Missouri State Capitol. Other activities include a barbecue and fun team competitions.

To compete in the Youth Tour and Leadership Conference contest, students must submit a 600-word essay on "Tell me how your life would change without electricity and why?"  The essay must be submitted and received by 4:30 pm on November 13.  Please submit all essays to Pat Walter by email at pwalter@ueci.coop or mail at PO Box 757, Maryville MO 64468.

Submitted essays will be judged and scored on knowledge of the subject, originality, content, and creativity. Six Missouri finalists and three Iowa finalists will be invited to the interview portion of the contest on December 6.  Scoring will be judged on speaking ability, subject knowledge, content, and presentation of self during the interview portion.

The essay and interview scores will be added together for a final contest score.  The top two essays and interview scores in Missouri and the top essay and interview score in Iowa will be United Electric’s Missouri and Iowa Youth Tour delegates.  The contestants that receive the third and fourth highest scores will be United Electric’s Missouri Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience delegates and the winners of an expense-paid trip to Jefferson City.

The 2024 Missouri Youth Tour will be held June 14-20, 2024.  The 2024 Iowa Youth Tour will be held June 15--21, 2024.  The 2024 Cooperative Leadership Conference is scheduled for July 16-19, 2024.

United Electric Cooperative is excited to provide our high school juniors the opportunity to learn about our government and rural electric cooperatives. For more information on the contest, please visit our website at www.ueci.coop or contact Pat Walter toll-free at 1-800-748-1488.