What do you get when 62 students from 26 Illinois electric and telephone cooperatives join more than 1,800 of their peers from across the United States? You get the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth to Washington Tour.
Four local students represented Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative during an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. from June 14 – 20 as part of the annual Youth Tour. The 2019 Youth Tour delegates from Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative include Shelby Basham, Ashkum; Cameron Douglass, Rossville; Liam McMullin, Loda; and Dane Thorne, Onarga.
The students toured Capitol Hill and met with U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth and U.S. Representatives Adam Kinzinger and John Shimkus. They also visited historical and cultural sites including Arlington National Cemetery, the Supreme Court, President Lincoln’s Cottage at First National Cemetery, a variety of memorials and the U.S. Capitol.
“Youth Tour is a great opportunity that changes these students’ lives,” says Bob Hunzinger, president/CEO of Eastern Illini Electric. “This experience helps prepare them for their futures. After touring our nation’s capital, meeting congressional representatives, learning firsthand how our government works, and finding out more about how cooperatives operate, they return home with valuable knowledge and memories that will last a lifetime.”
Since 1964, the nation’s cooperative electric and telephone utilities have sponsored more than 60,000 high school students to visit Washington, D.C.