An all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., on July 19-25, 2020
What you can win
Your prize for showing the benefits of cooperative power: an unforgettable trip to Washington, D.C., June 19-25, 2020, with nearly 2,000 other students your age from across the country.
Each day of the Washington Youth Tour brings more impressive sights, opportunities for photos and lots of memories. Among activities filling the agenda are tours of Washington, D.C., and all its landmarks, memorials and museums. Highlights include the Smithsonian Institution, White House, U.S. Capitol, Mount Vernon and Monticello.
Food, travel and lodging expenses are paid by Tennessee’s electric cooperatives. But the benefits of the Youth Tour go far beyond an expense-paid trip.
During the tour, delegates have the opportunity to compete for Tennessee’s spot on the Youth Leadership Council to represent the state at the 2020 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association annual meeting in San Diego, California.
And don’t forget about the chance to help pay for your college education with scholarships of $3,000, $2,000 or $1,000 awarded by the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association if your story is judged one of the top three in the state.
You may also choose to participate in our Cooperative Youth Ambassador program. Delegates who stay active and engaged with their co-op in the 12 months following Youth Tour qualify for a drawing for a $10,000 scholarship to the school of their choice.
Electric cooperatives are different from other utilities. Your locally owned electric co-op gives a lot back to the community. In fact, that’s a major part of its business plan. Electric cooperatives invest thousands of dollars to send high school students to Washington because it’s important to the long-term prosperity of their communities for their leaders of tomorrow to learn about the political process. Youth Tour participants return to their hometowns stronger leaders with confidence that they can make a difference.
Rules and Resources
There are a few rules you need to follow:
- Only juniors in high school are eligible to participate.
- Every short story must be titled “Electric Cooperatives: Connecting Communities.”
- Submissions must not exceed 900 words, including articles (“a,” “an” and “the”). The exact word count must be included on your cover page. Entries must be typewritten and double-spaced.
Remember, you’re writing a short story, which gives you more creative freedom than the rigid guidelines of an essay. Your story should be an entertaining, informative description of electric cooperatives.
Looking for real examples of how co-ops connect their communities? Check out these recent news stories.
Electric co-ops have utilized technology to operate efficiently and keep rates low.
Tennessee’s electric cooperatives provide power to more than 1.1 million homes, farms and businesses across rural and suburban Tennessee. Unlike other businesses, electric cooperatives are owned by the consumers they serve and operate as not-for-profit businesses. This may not sound important, but it means that consumers are the priority. Rates are kept low because there are no stockholders to pay, and the co-op is responsive to members because they vote on co-op leadership.
In the 1930s, there was no power in rural Tennessee. Homeowners and farmers came together to create co-ops that would bring power to their homes.
Today, co-ops are modern businesses that use technology to efficiently operate a large, advanced grid. Despite these changes, the primary goal of co-ops have not changed: provide safe, reliable and affordable energy to our neighbors, the very people who own the co-op.
Because of their local ties, co-ops are committed to improving lives in their communities. Going beyond simply keeping the lights on, co-ops recruit businesses and investment, help members operate their homes and businesses more efficiently and prepare students to be tomorrow’s leaders.