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Pioneer Electric accepting applications for Youth Tour

Pioneer Electric's Casey Rogers (center) stands with 2016 Youth Tour DC delegates and finalists Annie Talton from Dallas County and Sarah Elizabeth Owens of Monroe County.

Pioneer Electric’s Casey Rogers (center) stands with 2016 Youth Tour DC delegates and finalists Annie Talton from Dallas County and Sarah Elizabeth Owens of Monroe County.

For the next two weeks, Pioneer Electric Cooperative will be taking applications for the 2017 Alabama and National Rural Electric Youth Tours, slated for spring and summer of next year.

For the past two years, Pioneer Electric Cooperative has given a number of students an opportunity to attend the Alabama Youth Tour in Montgomery, as well as an additional trip to the National Youth Tour in Washington, D.C.

This year, six standout students will attend the 2016 Alabama Youth Tour, with an additional two students receiving a summer to remember in the nation’s capital with a chance to represent their hometown in June.

Casey Rogers, Pioneer Electric Cooperative’s Youth Tour coordinator, said that this coming year marks the third consecutive year following a brief hiatus from the program, and said that rekindling the Youth Tour has been one of the best decisions the company has made.

“I think this program is one of the best ways that Pioneer has to give back to the communities we serve,” Rogers said.

“It allows students from our coverage territory to meet students from all over the state, and across the nation.”

Just as in previous years, interested students must be in their junior year of high school and must submit an application to Rogers and must participate in an interview with a  panel of three judges in order to be considered.

Unlike last year, however, in which the Youth Tour was open to all schools across the county Pioneer Electric Cooperative serves, this year’s participants must be from a list of specific schools due to the cooperative being divided into specific school sets on a statewide basis.

In order to be elligible, students must attend one of the following schools in Pioneer Electric’s coverage territory:  Calhoun High School, Central Christian School, Central High School, Fort Dale Academy, Greenville High School, Georgiana High School, John T. Morgan Academy, Keith High School, Lowndes Academy, Lowndes County Vocational School, McKenzie High School, Meadowview Christian School, Selma High School, Southside High School, Wilcox Academy or Wilcox Central High School.

Those selected will join more than 150 other high school students representing electric cooperatives in Montgomery for the Alabama Youth Tour in March.

There, they’ll have the opportunity to have breakfast and lunch with state lawmakers, take part in Q&A sessions with representatives about topics that interest them, tour the Civil Rights Memorial, the Capitol and the State House and visit the Rosa Parks Museum, as well as the State Judicial Building. 

If selected for the second tour in June, students will join more than 1,600 other students—48 of whom are from Alabama—in Washington, D.C. for a chance to tour national monuments, take a boat tour of the Potomac River and visit museums and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

And though much of the experience concerns the places students will go, Rogers said that the people met during that time are just as formative.

“It’s a great leadership experience for one’s resume and otherwise, but it’s also a great opportunity to get to know and interact with 150 of the best and brightest peers throughout the state and nation,” Rogers said.

Students tour all of the historic locations in both cities, meet with legislators and play fun activities along the way.”

The application is due on Jan. 13, and it can be found at Pioneer Electric’s website. For more information, contact Rogers at 334-382-4904 or crogers@pioneerelectric.com.