Skip to main navigation.

Washington D.C. Youth Tour

We are proud to have had Kennedy Pratt represent Clay-Union Electric as one of more than 1,800 rural America’s best and brightest high-schoolers visit Washington, D.C., in 2018 to learn about the political process, interact with elected officials and gain an up-close understanding of American history.

NRECA organizers of the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, now in its 53rd year, sponsored the weeklong program that included Youth Day on June 11, a spirited gathering of young delegates and featured speakers. With more than 2,100 participants—about 260 are adult chaperones—this year’s tour was the largest, said Patrick Ahearn, NRECA’s director of political affairs.

“We’ve grown so much over the last few years that we now have to hold our Youth Day rally in two separate sessions,” said Ahearn.


Electric co-ops select and sponsor high schoolers in their service areas for the all-expenses co-op paid trip. Youth Tour participants also attend leadership training and learn about their co-ops’ purpose in programs back home.

“They’re not just lineman and people running electricity. They also have [public relations] teams, CEOs and general managers and safety teams. They have so many people involved, yet they’re such a tight-knit community,” said 2017 participant Allison Williams, sponsored by FreeState Electric Cooperative in McLouth, Kansas.

Texas co-ops sent the largest contingent: 165 high-schoolers and chaperones boarded a chartered flight bound for Washington. Tennessee is close behind with more than 140 delegates.

“From these giant groups, to states like Alaska, who sends one delegate on the almost daylong travel journey, and every state in between, Youth Tour is a life-changing opportunity for all involved,” said Beth Knudson, an NRECA consultant.

Powered by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Logo
Together we Save logo REED Fund logo Trustwave logo