LPEA announces delegates for National Rural Electric Youth Tour


La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) is proud to announce the selection of four exemplary high school juniors from LPEA’s service territory to represent the cooperative at the National Rural Electric Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., from June 17-23. 

These students have been chosen for their outstanding leadership qualities and academic merits, and they will be part of a delegation of 30 students from Colorado. 

The 2024 LPEA delegates are as follows: 

• Aspen Salazar, from Pagosa Springs High School. 

“The independence and adventures this trip will bring me is getting me prepared for my future. I am experiencing an opportunity that will benefit me for the rest of my life. Thank you LPEA and CREA,” Salazar said.

• Edward Herrera, from Bayfield High School. 

“The youth tour will allow me to connect and interact with like-minded people. This will allow me to discover the inner workings of the electric rural cooperative world,” Herrera said. 

• Ellie Casias, from Durango High School. 

“The youth tour represents an opportunity to grow not only as a leader but as a person who wishes to make a difference in the world,” Casias said. 

• Noah LeMasters, from Ignacio High School. 

“Attending the Youth Tour is an experience I feel really lucky to have been selected for. I’m looking forward to learning new things, seeing new places, and meeting new people. Thank you for this awesome opportunity, LPEA,” LeMasters said. 

During this immersive week, the students will have the opportunity to visit key historical sites, engage with elected officials, and learn about the importance of civic involvement and the electric utility industry, particularly the cooperative business model. 

This initiative is part of a broader effort, supported by LPEA and the Colorado Rural Electric Association, to inspire the next generation of leaders. More than 1,800 students from 45 states will participate in this year’s youth tour. 

The concept of the youth tour was first proposed by Sen. Lyndon Johnson in 1957, aiming to enrich young Americans’ understanding of their national heritage and the value of civic engagement. 

The senator declared, “If one thing goes out of this meeting, it will be sending youngsters to the national capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”