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Youth tour signups end Jan. 19

Butler County Superintendent Amy Bryan remembers being chosen to take part in the Alabama and National Rural Electric Youth Tour as a junior in high school.

Bryan said she was able to fly to Washington, D.C., where she toured the capital with other students from Alabama.

“Actually, I missed the plane and flew alone. I was instantly popular as the late one,” Bryan quipped. “I made friends and toured our nation’s capital. Later, when it was time to apply for scholarships, I had this achievement to stand out from others.”

Pioneer Electric Cooperative is currently taking applications for the 2015 Alabama and National Rural Electric Youth Tour.

PEC also plans to sponsor two of the selected Alabama Youth Tour students to further represent the cooperative at the National Rural Electric Youth Tour.

“This is a great leadership opportunity for high school students. I am thrilled that Pioneer will once again participate in the youth tour,” said PEC Communications Specialist and Youth Tour Director Casey Rogers. “Students will be given educational and social opportunities that they wouldn’t ordinarily be afforded at their age.”

The contest is open to all high school juniors (11th grade) living in one of the counties served by PEC, including: Butler, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dallas, Lowndes, Monroe and Wilcox. Applications are due by Mon., Jan. 19, 2015, and can be found at both PEC offices, on the PEC website and in the offices of school guidance counselors at any school within PEC’s coverage territory.

Selected students will join more than 130 high school juniors representing electric cooperatives in Montgomery for the Alabama Youth Tour in March. There, these students will have the opportunity to take part in activities such as Q&A sessions with representatives about topics that interest them; tour the Civil Rights Memorial, the Capitol and the State House; visit the Rosa Parks Museum and the State Judicial Building; and even have breakfast and lunch with state lawmakers.

The National Rural Electric Youth Tour, sponsored by electric cooperatives across the nation, the Alabama Rural Electric Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, is part of a grassroots program to educate high school students on the electric cooperative program and the cooperative ideas for which it stands. The National Youth Tour brings more than 1,500 students together every June to hear from prominent speakers, meet their U.S. Senators and Representatives, create life-long friendships with students from the 43 participating states, tour numerous attractions in the D.C. area and more.

Bryan had a little bit of advice for those who are going to apply for the tour.

“I encourage all students to apply. If you still have to write an essay, my tip is to add some humor,” she said.

For more information about Youth Tour 2015 and other programs sponsored by PEC, please contact Casey Rogers at (334) 382-4904 or by email at crogers@pioneerelectric.com.