Cuivre River Electric announces Youth Tour winners

Cuivre River’s 2013 Youth Tour runners-up are (L-R) Kaylee Cannon of Bowling Green HS, Sean Kruse and Elizabeth Cato of Winfield HS, Meghan Todd of Warrenton HS, Sarah Huckstep of Clopton HS and Samantha Marre of Elsberry HS. Each student received a $250 scholarship to the university or college of their choice.

“Concern for Community” is the cooperative principle that won the hearts of most finalists in Cuivre River Electric Cooperative’s 45th Annual Youth Tour Final Competition on April 17. Twelve local students presented their essays touting “Cooperative Principles Make a Difference in My Community” with judges and guests attending the even Cuivre River Electric announces Youth Tour win

Students’ speeches and cooperative quiz scores determined the most important contest of the evening, the selection of Cuivre River’s delegates to attend the National Youth Tour Conference in Washington, D.C. this summer. Students chosen as Cuivre River Youth Tour delegates include Zabada Abouelhana of Timberland HS, Melissa Lamping of Troy Buchanan HS, Mary Burkemper of Winfield HS, Rachel Reckamp and Samantha Swoboda of Warrenton HS, and Kelsey Castulik of St. Dominic HS.

They will travel among 90 Missouri delegates June 14-20, meet with more than 1,500 delegates from across the United States, visit Congress, tour Capitol Hill, and see national historic memorials and landmarks. Sarah Huckstep of Clopton HS will serve as a Youth Tour alternate, should any of these students be unable to attend.

“Cuivre River Electric Cooperative will provide six students with the opportunity to represent the Show Me State in Washington D.C. as participants in NRECA’s Youth Tour 2013. The opportunity to visit DC, tour the Capitol building and meet with elected officials can be transformative,” said Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “There is no better place to gain an appreciation for all of our democratic institutions than here in our nation’s capital. I truly believe that those students who attend the Youth Tour return home better equipped to serve their community and co-op nation.”

The six runners-up in the contest received a $250 Cuivre River Youth Tour scholarship to the university or college of their choice. They include Kaylee Cannon of Bowling Green HS, Sarah Huckstep of Clopton HS, Samantha Marre of Elsberry HS, Meghan Todd of Warrenton HS, Elizabeth Cato and Sean Kruse of Winfield HS.

“Among 249 contest entries, it was interesting to learn the principles our youth valued the most. In addition to Concern for Community,

Cuivre River’s 2013 Youth Tour delegates are (L-R) Zabada Abouelhana of Timberland HS, Melissa Lamping of Troy Buchanan HS, Mary Burkemper of Winfield HS, Rachel Reckamp and Samantha Swoboda of Warrenton HS and Kelsey Castulik of St. Dominic HS. The delegates will travel to Washington, D.C. June 14-20 to attend the National Youth Tour Conference.

Education and Democratic Member Control were also popular choices,” said Mary Jane Clark, Manager of Communications who emceed the event.

The essays were judged based on the student’s cooperative knowledge, composition, originality, grammar and neatness. The 12 finalists took a cooperative knowledge based quiz, and then presented their essays to a board of distinguished judges and special guests. Their presentations were judged on the student’s speaking ability, poise and personality, appearance and length of presentation.

Judging duties for the final competition were performed by Dr. Gina Bueneman-Cooper, Professional Development Specialist, of Cooper Management Training & Consulting, Inc. in Troy; Melba Houston, Cuivre River Electric Community Trust Board Member 2007-2012 of Elsberry and Ryan Cornelius, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, of Crawford Electric Cooperative in Bourbon, Missouri.

The local contest, now in its 45th year, received 249 student essays from nineteen area high schools. Last year the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) named Cuivre River Electric Cooperative’s Youth Tour program as one of the best Youth Tour programs in the country based on the highest number of student entries received by a single electric cooperative in the United States.

“We are extremely proud of the national recognition our Youth Tour program received last year from the NRECA,” said Tucker. “Our program’s success can be attributed to the overwhelming support we receive each year from our high school teachers,” he adds. Teachers honored at this year’s banquet included Dana Moniger of Clopton HS, Sarah O’Brien of Elsberry HS, Daniel Hancock of St. Dominic HS, Jeremy Boesch and Kevin Porter of Timberland HS, Kristine Mennemeyer, Ryan Meyers and Melissa Surber of Troy Buchanan HS, Elizabeth Hancock and Kristine Heimburger of Warrenton HS and Sharon Bader of Winfield HS.

Since 1964 Cuivre River has sponsored 186 Youth Tour delegates for visits to their U.S. congressional delegations, energy and grassroots government education sessions, and sightseeing in Washington, D.C. More than 45,000 high school students sponsored by electric cooperatives have participated in the Youth Tour since the leadership program began.

Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, founded in 1941, provides electricity to more than 60,000 homes and businesses in Lincoln, Pike, St. Charles and Warren counties. For more information on the Youth Tour contact Lonnie Tucker at 800.392.3709 ext. 230, or e-mail: ltucker@cuivre.com.

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Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 at 8:42 am