For the past 60 years, electric cooperatives from across the country have selected student leaders to take part in the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. In addition, for the past 40 years, co-ops have selected a second group of student leaders to participate in the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp in Colorado.
Despite the programs being canceled in 2020, plans were in place to host nearly 2,000 students representing 44 states in the DC trip and nearly 100 students from four states for the Colorado camp. However, due to continued concerns with the pandemic, the decision has been made to cancel both youth programs for 2021.
With the cancellation of the youth programs, Sumner-Cowley Electric Cooperative will now offer the 2021 student winners with a virtual youth leadership conference.
“We are sad for the youth who will miss the tour and camp experiences, but we know that the safety of our youth delegates and our chaperones is paramount,” said Shana Read, KEC director of education and training, who coordinates the youth programs. “However, we are planning a meaningful and engaging youth leadership experience tailored specifically to these students.”
“While we know that a virtual conference is not an ideal substitution for the trips, we are proud to offer this leadership development opportunity to our winners,” said Sumner-Cowley CEO Coni Adams. “And we look forward to resuming the youth program trips as soon as we can safely travel.”
The virtual leadership conference will take place this summer and will be a combination of top-notch speakers as well as fun virtual activities. In addition, Sumner-Cowley will also offer a $1,500 scholarship for their student winners who complete the week-long program. Students who participate in the virtual conference will also be eligible to apply for future statewide and national awards designed for the youth program alumni.
For more information, contact Sumner-Cowley Electric at 888-326-3356. The deadline to apply was February 19, 2021.