07/11/11 — Tri-County Electric sends trio on Washington, D.C. tour

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Tri-County Electric sends trio on Washington, D.C. tour

By Staff Reports
Published in News on July 11, 2011 1:46 PM

Michaela Smith of Princeton, Travis Cuddington of Goldsboro and Alan Keathley of Mount Olive were among the more than 1,600 high school students nationwide who attended the 2011 Rural Electric Youth Tour June 11-17 in Washington, D.C.

Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation at Dudley sponsored the local students.

Students on the tour learned about electric cooperatives' role in the national economy. Another goal is to foster students' appreciation for the democratic form of the U.S. government.

The trip also allowed participants to meet elected officials and better understand how the federal government operates. This year, North Carolina students who attended the Youth Tour were able to meet 12 of the state's 13 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The representatives stressed civic involvement and leadership skills as key components in making a difference in their local communities. The students also met with Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), who talked to them about the country's energy policy, current job market and paying for college.

The Youth Tour has brought students to Washington, D.C. since the late 1950's. To date, more than 40,000 students from small towns in 44 states have participated in this program and walked away with a greater understanding of their role as a citizen, Tri-County EMC officials said.

The Youth Tour aims to educate youth on all aspects of rural electrification in order to promote a better understanding of the value of rural electric cooperatives, the officials said. The Youth Tour provides an opportunity for youth to visit monuments, government buildings and cooperative-related organizations in order to become familiar with the historical and the political environment of the nation's capital.

The Rural Electric Youth Tour is a joint effort of local electric co-ops, such as Tri-County EMC, statewide co-op associations and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Arlington, Va.