Tallahassee Youth Tour is comprised of more than 100 high school juniors representing electric cooperatives from around the state. Each spring, they all come together at our State’s Capitol. There, students have the opportunity to take part in activities such as Q&A sessions with representatives about topics that interest them; tour the State Capitol, the Florida Supreme Court, and the Governor’s Mansion; visit museums and other local sites.
The Washington D.C. National Rural Electric Youth Tour, sponsored by local electric cooperatives, the Florida Electric Cooperatives Association, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, is part of a grassroots program to educate high school juniors and seniors on the electric cooperative program and the cooperative ideas for which it stands. Approximately 32 students from Florida travel to Washington D.C. for the week-long tour, joining more than 1,800 students from across the nation. The tour is jam-packed with fun-filled activities and visits to America’s most popular and historic places. Stops along the way include the U.S. Capitol, the Korean and Vietnam memorials, the Kennedy Center, Arlington National Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Although the Youth Tour experience is filled with fun activities, its overall purpose is to increase students understanding of the value of rural electrification. Students will visit elected officials to increase their knowledge of how the federal government works.
In addition to going to Washington, D.C. as a Florida Youth Tour delegate, students may apply to be Florida’s representative to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Leadership Council (YLC). The YLC is composed of one representative from each state that participates in the Youth Tour. At this workshop, YLC representatives will have the opportunity to hone their public speaking skills, develop their leadership skills, and enhance their understanding of politics.
All YLC representatives assist NRECA staff with the NRECA annual meeting typically held in the spring of the following year. YLC responsibilities at this four-day meeting will include participating in the meeting’s opening assembly by carrying our Florida Flag, staffing information booths, learning about energy issues, and assisting with committee meetings. Group recreational activities will also be provided.
Below is a list of each of the Florida electric cooperatives that participate in Youth Tour and links to their individual Youth Tour website pages:
- Central Florida EC
- Choctawhatchee EC (CHELCO)
- Clay EC
- Escambia River EC
- Glades EC
- Gulf Coast EC
- Okefenoke REMC (participates in Georgia’s Youth Tour program)
- Peace River EC
- Suwannee Valley EC
- Talquin EC
- Tri-County EC
- West Florida EC
- About Youth Tour: Visit NRECA’s sit for a more in-depth look at all things Youth Tour.
- Scholarship Opportunities: There are currently multiple scholarship opportunities through NRECA, check it out!
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