Area high school students to visit Washington DC courtesy of LPEA


Area high school students Kaycee Bennett of Pagosa Springs and Logan Graham of Durango have been selected to represent La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) as part of the National Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington D.C. scheduled for June 12-19, 2014.

“This trip is a tremendous opportunity for our area juniors,” said Greg Munro, LPEA CEO. “The country and the world are facing many challenges in the energy arena, and the industry is changing, so it’s important that our next generation gain an understanding about energy policy development at the federal level. We are pleased to be able to further that education.”

Students completed an application and penned a 500-word essay covering an aspect of the electric industry of their choosing. Excerpts of the winning students’ essays are included below.

LPEA’s student representatives will join juniors from the cooperative’s sister electric co-ops across Colorado for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The schedule includes an intimate look at the nation’s capitol and the government from the inside, including discussion of current concerns with national and state Congressional representatives. Tours of Washington D.C.’s monuments and museums, plus social activities, are also part of the agenda.

In her essay, Pagosa Springs High School junior Kaycee Bennett, addressed the “power” or electricity and its origins: The simplest way to describe what causes any sort of electricity is friction between positive and negative electrical charges. When you rub certain materials together, it can cause excess electrical charges to be created. The electric field from the excess of charges then causes the static electric effects of attraction, repulsion or a spark.”

Logan Graham, a junior at Durango High School and vice president of the Colorado Youth Advisory Council (COYAC), honed in on the politics of electricity: “While witnessing the debate on SB252 at the state capitol last spring, I became interested in how politics affect energy, and how, in turn, energy affects the youth of Colorado. I am looking forward to working on energy-related issues this year and next year as chair of the new COYAC committee (on energy and environmental policy).”

Applications for the 2015 Washington D.C. Youth Tour will be available in November 2014 at LPEA’s offices in Durango and Pagosa Springs, through area high school counselors, or on the web, Home-schooled students are eligible to apply.

The opportunity to participate in the D.C. Youth Tour, is open to all current high school juniors who receive their electric power from La Plata Electric Association. LPEA annually underwrites the cost of the trip for up to four students within its service territory – one from each school district.