High school juniors invited to apply for Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.


By Indiana Reed

Special to The SUN

La Plata Electric Association (LPEA), in partnership with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), is seeking high school juniors to be a part of the National Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., set for June 12-18.

The appplication deadline is Monday, Jan. 12. All high school juniors whose households receive electricity from LPEA are eligible to apply.

“The Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. is unique to rural electric cooperatives across the country,” said Mike Dreyspring, LPEA CEO. “Annually, LPEA and our sister co-ops select and sponsor high school juniors for this all-expenses paid experience to our nation’s capitol. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we encourage our local high school students to apply.”

The Washington, D.C. youth tour features an intimate look at the federal government and the nation’s capitol, including museum and monument tours, as well as interaction with Colorado’s elected representatives. Social activities are also part of the adventure.

Logan Graham, of Durango, who attended the 2014 trip, reflected, “I remember screaming at the top of my lungs with four other soccer players on the trip with me while we watched the U.S. score a last-minute goal against Ghana during the World Cup; I remember getting completely lost in the Natural History Museum with another group of students; I remember singing a capella versions of Don’t Stop Believing with kids from Georgia; I remember shaking veterans’ hands and thanking them for all they’ve done for our country; and I remember feeling incredibly patriotic while visiting so many of America’s symbols of freedom.”

LPEA seeks to sponsor one student from each municipality within its service territory — Durango, Bayfield, Pagosa Springs and Ignacio. Home-school students are also eligible.

“To be considered, students must complete the D.C. Youth Tour application and submit it to LPEA, along with an essay of 500 words or less about any aspect of the electric energy industry,” said Jeannie Bennett, LPEA public relations coordinator overseeing the Youth Tour application process.

Applications are available on the LPEA website, www.lpea.coop, from high school counselors and at the LPEA offices in Durango and Pagosa Springs. For further information regarding the National Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., contact Bennett, 382-3505 or jbennett@lpea.coop.