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Students sought for D.C. youth tour

POSTED: February 18, 2014 12:29 a.m.

Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation is looking for high school juniors and seniors to take part in its annual Washington Youth Tour.

Two students, who must be 16 years old by June 1, will be chosen from Sawnee’s seven-county service area to take part in the event June 12-19.

Before heading to the nation’s capital, the students will meet in Atlanta to join others representing EMCs from around the state.

The next day, the group will travel to Washington to meet with 1,500 students from across the country.

As Sawnee EMC’s delegates, the students will have the opportunity to observe the workings of the nation’s government and meet with their representatives in the U.S. House and Senate.

They will also gain knowledge about the electric cooperative movement, which first brought much-needed electrical services to farms and rural areas in the early part of the 20th century.

The youth program was inspired by former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who thought it was important to “send youngsters to the nation’s capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”

Sawnee EMC delegates will be selected based on a written application and personal interview with judges. Sawnee will provide all costs associated with the trip for its delegates.

Blake House, vice president of member services, said in a statement that the annual tour is a highlight of the year for the cooperative.

“We are very proud to be a supporter of the Washington Youth Tour,” he said. “It is an excellent opportunity for us to support the communities we serve and to help educate students who have an interest in politics, government and, more importantly, the electric cooperatives of this state.”

Over the life of the Washington Youth Tour, some 45,000 high school students from around the country have been sponsored by more than 900 electric cooperatives.

Students who live in or attend a school in the Sawnee EMC service area can apply for the opportunity to take part in this year’s event by going to

Interested students have until 5 p.m. Feb. 28 to apply.


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