GRACEVILLE – A junior from Malone School, Elijah Larry and Chipley High School junior, Nadia Kent were named West Florida Electric’s Youth Tour competition winners on February 18. Kristen Rushing from Holmes County High School was named the alternate.
These students will represent WFEC on the National Rural Electric Youth Tour June 20-25, traveling to Washington, D.C. with over 30 other Florida students to join over 1,600 high school juniors representing co-ops from across the country.
Ten area students participated in the Youth Tour program this year. They were: Addison O’Bryan, Altha School; Alyssa Brown, Bethlehem School; Morgan Yoder, Blountstown High School; Nadia Kent, Chipley High School; Josie Scott, Cottondale High School; Troy Daniels, Graceville High School; Kristen Rushing, Holmes County High School; Elijah Larry, Malone School; Rebecca Mercer, Marianna High School and Kayla Rister, Poplar Springs School.
Natalie Holton, a junior at Poplar Springs High School, is the daughter of Shannon Holton, an employee of the cooperative. She competed in a separate essay competition for the children of employees, sponsored by the Florida Rural Electric Cooperatives Association. The winner of this essay competition wins a trip to Washington, D.C. and becomes the representative for the rural electric cooperatives of Florida. Holton did extremely well in this competition.
The cooperative’s Board of Trustees has 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. These scholarship recipients were: Addison O’Bryan, Calhoun County; Kristen Rushing, Holmes County; Elijah Larry, Jackson County and Nadia Kent, 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, please visit www.westflorida.coop or contact Candace Croft at email@example.com.