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Washington youth tour winners announced

The 2001 Youth Tour Awards Banquet was held April 10 in Greenville.

This program, sponsored by Pioneer Electric Cooperative, allows 11th grade students from high schools within Pioneer's service area to compete in an essay contest with the final prize being a 6 day trip to Washington D.C. The purpose of this contest is to educate young people in the role that electric cooperatives play in improving quality of life within the areas they serve.

In South Central Alabama Pioneer

has provided rural electrification, rural water, internet service and economic development.

The contest is coordinated by area English teachers who assign the essays and then choose two winners from each school.

Those essays are then submitted to the Youth Tour Judges.

Each contestant is interviewed by the judges, and the results of that interview coupled with the essay scores and content, form the basis for the selection of final winners.

This year's judges were Emily Ethridge and Meredith Earnest from Alabama Electric Cooperative in Andalusia and Clyde Chambliss from Central Electric Cooperative in Prattville.

Semi-finalists for Youth Tour 2001 were Beth Stephenson and Eric Smith from Greenville High School, John Warren Godwin from Greenville Academy, Crenshaw Poole and Brittany Hanks from Fort Dale Academy, Andrew Jolly of McKenzie High School, Angela Russell and Sarah Strickland of Lowndes Academy, A'Shantey Johnson and Teliesha Barnes from Keith High School, Sharonda Ray and Maria Banks of Central High School, Ragan Tolar of Morgan Academy, and Heather Suggs and Jay Gargus of Meadowview Christian School.

All these entrants received a cash prize.

After enjoying words from guest speaker Darryl Gates, Vice-President of Communications for Alabama Rural Electric Association, awards for 1st and 2nd alternate positions were presented by Chuck Faulkner, District Manager of Pioneer Electric in Selma.

Those named were 1st Alternate Sara Strickland and 2nd Alternate Ragan Tolar.

Both these winners will attend the Montgomery Youth Tour 2002.

Linda Horn, Head of Marketing and Development at Pioneer, announced the two Washington Youth Tour winners, Andrew Jolly and Beth Stephenson.

Later this year these two young people will go to our nation's capital where, along with approximately 1500 other students, they will become more familiar with their historical and political heritage, they will meet members of Congress and they will be further educated in the value of the Electric cooperative movement.

Andrew and Beth will tour Washington D.C. from the U.S. Capital to Mt. Vernon, Arlington Cemetery and more.

They will also enjoy a dinner/dance cruise on the Potomac, a trip to Planet Hollywood or the Hard Rock Caf, but even better will be the experience of interacting with other young folks from across our country.

Congratulations to all the named winners and to Pioneer Electric Cooperative for sponsoring such a wonderful program.