Co-op Sends High School Students to Washington, D.C.

Flathead Electric Cooperative will send three area high school students to our nation’s capital this summer on the annual Washington, D.C. Youth Tour.

Participants go through a competitive application process involving transcripts, essays, and references. This year, the Co-op selected Adam Healy, a Whitefish High School rising junior and the son of Carol Healy and David Healy; Adam Schrader, a Columbia Falls High School rising senior and the son of Krista Schrader; and Neila Lyngholm, a Flathead High School rising senior and the daughter of Jennifer and Jeffrey Lyngholm.

Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson inspired the Youth Tour when he addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1957. The Senator and future president declared, “If one thing comes out of this meeting, it will be sending youngsters to the national capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.” This notion evolved in the 1960s into a nationwide effort to send young people on organized, fun and educational trips to the nation’s capital.

Today, the NRECA Youth Tour sends more than 1,500 high-school students to Washington, D.C. each year to learn about the history of this country and the role electric cooperatives played in that history. Students also meet with their legislative delegation.  Montana sends more than 25 students each year to participate in the Youth tour at no cost to those students.

The Co-op uses unclaimed capital credits to fund “all-expense paid” trips to Youth Tour each year. Applications are open to high school sophomores or juniors from schools in the Flathead Electric service territory. The student’s parent or guardian must be served by Flathead Electric Cooperative.

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