GRACEVILLE – Holmes County High School junior, Bailey Rich and Altha School junior, Anna Alday were named West Florida Electric’s Youth Tour competition winners on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Elizabeth Carnley of Malone was named the alternate.

Rich and Alday will represent WFEC on the National Rural Electric Youth Tour June 9-14, traveling to Washington, D.C. with more than 30 other Florida students to join more than 1,600 high school juniors representing co-ops from across the country.

13 area students participated in the Youth Tour program this year. They were: Anna Alday, Altha School; Haley Mitchell, Bethlehem School; Samera Baker, Blountstown High School; Emily Broom, Chipley High School; Lilly Ball, Cottondale High School; Aliyah Wilburn, Graceville High School; Bailey Rich, Holmes County High School; Elizabeth Carnley, Malone School; Jonah Mercer, Marianna High School; Zach Prescott, Ponce De Leon High School; Reagan Joiner, Poplar Springs School; Georgia Cloud, Sneads High School and Lana Bush, Vernon High School.

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 is 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: Anna Alday, Calhoun County; Bailey Rich, Holmes County; Elizabeth Carnley, Jackson County and Emily Broom, Washington 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. WFEC has participated in the Youth Tour since 1979, sending two students to Washington, D.C. each year since. For more information about the Youth Tour and the scholarship program, visit www.westflorida.coop or contact Candace Croft at ccroft@westflorida.coop.