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Deadline approaches for Pioneer Electric Cooperative Youth Tour

The deadline for the Pioneer Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Program is fast approaching.

For the past three years, Pioneer Electric Cooperative (PEC) has continued its tradition of selecting talented young individuals from the cooperative’s nine-county region to attend the Montgomery Youth Tour.

The contest is open for all high school juniors in the area. This year eight students will be selected.

From the eight students, two will be chosen to represent the area at the Rural Electric Youth Tour in Washington D.C. this summer.

On the state level, the Montgomery Youth Tour seeks to build leadership skills and educate students on the impact electricity plays in Alabama legislation and government policies.

During the week, students are able to meet government officials and tour historical landmarks in the capital city.

On the national level, the two individuals selected from this region join more than 1,500 high school students from towns and small cities all over America in Washington, D.C.

Last year Fort Dale Academy senior Hannah Schofield and senior Hannah Free from Morgan Academy were selected as representatives.

Both girls participated in an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. learning about rural electrification, the nation’s capital and the inner workings of the federal government.

Schofield spoke highly of the program.

“My experience with Youth Tour was nothing less than life changing,” Schofield said.

Both trips left a lasting impression on Schofield as she encouraged, “Overall, I want everyone who is eligible to apply for the chance to go to Montgomery and possibly D.C.! Without a doubt, it will prove to be one of the most exciting times of their lives!”

Communications specialist and the cooperative’s Youth Tour coordinator Casey Rogers enjoys working with the students.

“Youth Tour is definitely one of my favorite parts of my job.”

Rogers works closely with the students by organizing the Youth Tour day in Greenville and attending the events in Montgomery and D.C. Rogers added, “It is cool getting to share the experiences with the kids and to see the caliber of students that we do have today.”

Equipping the students for the professional world, Rogers said, “I want the students to be able to speak in front of a large group of people, know about the government, and interview well.”

In the end, the relationships built through this program mean the most to Rogers. “Seeing the kids grow throughout the year whether in Montgomery or D.C., I become apart of their lives. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Each applicant must submit an application and complete an interview for consideration in the program. There is no cost to apply. Applications are due Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. to the PEC office.

Applications can be found online or in the PEC office.

The interview competition is scheduled for Jan. 25. Students selected with attend the Montgomery Youth Tour held March 6-8.