Chipley High School junior, Lauren Kinman and Altha School junior, Seth Alday were named West Florida Electric’s Youth Tour competition winners Thursday, March 3. Hillary Oliver of Sneads was named the alternate. These students will represent WFEC on the National Rural Electric Youth Tour Saturday, June 11 through Thursday, June 16, traveling to Washington, D.C. with over 30 other Florida students to join over 1,500 high school juniors representing co-ops from across the country. 

Nine area students participated in the local Youth Tour trip to Tallahassee. They were: Seth Alday, Altha School; Citlali Gutierrez, Blountstown High School; Lauren Kinman, Chipley High School; Brad Vickery, Cottondale High School; Case Birge, Graceville High School; Emilee Crawford, Holmes County High School; Yakira Taylor, Malone School; Kellie Coatney, Poplar Springs School and Hillary Oliver, Sneads High School.
This year, the cooperative’s Board of Trustees created a scholarship program linked to Youth Tour participation. Each year, a scholarship of $4,000 to Chipola College will be awarded to the highest scoring participant from each county. Participants are ranked on a scale of 100 points using a panel interview process and the following categories: Communication Skills, Knowledge of Subject, Personality, Community Service and Poise/Appearance. Those scholarship recipients were: Seth Alday, Calhoun County; Lauren Kinman, Washington County; Emilee Crawford, Holmes County and Hillary Oliver, Jackson County.

The Washington, D.C. Youth Tour Program has been in existence since 1957 when co-ops sent students to Washington, D.C. to work during the summer. By 1964, the program caught on, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) began to coordinate the efforts of the co-ops. Since then, thousands of young people have experienced this opportunity. For more information about the Youth Tour and the new scholarship program linked to it, please visit the co-op’s web site at www.westflorida.coop or contact Candace Croft at ccroft@westflorida.coop