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Three Area High School Students
Join National Electric Cooperative Youth Tour of Washington, D.C.


Three students from Southside Virginia had the opportunity to enjoy an exciting and educational trip to Washington, D.C., from June 17-21 to attend the 2012 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.

Jessica Conner of Halifax County High School, Elizabeth Ezell of Park View High School, and Emily Lewis of Randolph-Henry High School were among 1,500 students from across the nation participating in this event.  Conner is the daughter of Dorothy and Richard Conner of Nathalie; Ezell is the daughter of Angela Parrish of South Hill; and Lewis is the daughter of Greg and Debbie Lewis of Red Oak.

Their trip was sponsored by Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC), and they were accompanied by Brian Morris, MEC member services/energy efficiency advisor.  Morris says, “The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour is an excellent opportunity for the young people from each state to meet with their legislators in Washington, D.C., and see first-hand how their government operates.” He adds, “The chaperones from other cooperatives agree with me that, as always, we had a great group of teenagers representing electric cooperatives this year.”

The students toured Capitol Hill and met with U.S. Representative Robert Hurt before visiting a variety of historical and cultural sites in the nation’s capital, including Mount Vernon and the Bureau of Printing & Engraving.

As part of NRECA-sponsored National Youth Day on June 18, all of the state groups convened to learn from inspirational speakers. This year’s agenda included Mike Schlappi, a four-time Paralympic Medalist and two-time world Champion Wheelchair Basketball champion. Schlappi shared his inspiring message for both young and old: “Just because you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out!”

Since 1964, the nation’s electric cooperative utilities have sponsored more than 40,000 high school juniors and seniors to visit their U.S. congressional delegations, learn from energy and grassroots government education sessions, and sightsee in Washington, D.C. NRECA is the national service organization representing the nation’s more than 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, which provide electric service to 42 million people in 47 states.

For more information about the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Program, visit www.youthtour.coop.



Students from MEC and their chaperone, Brian Morris, were among the group of Youth Tour participants from Virginia, Maryland and
Delaware electric cooperatives.


While in Washington, D.C., Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative representatives (from left) Emily Lewis, Elizabeth Ezell, and Jessica Conner had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Robert Hurt.


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