Each year, Flathead Electric Cooperative sends 2-3 area high school students to Washington D.C. on the annual National Rural Electric Association (NRECA) Washington, D.C. Youth Tour.
Each year, Flathead Electric Cooperative sends 2-3 area high school students to Washington D.C. on the annual National Rural Electric Association (NRECA) Washington, D.C. Youth Tour. Your Co-op uses unclaimed capital credits to fund these “all-expenses-paid” trips.
Remember: you are a member-owner of your not-for-profit co-op! Flathead Electric Cooperative exists only to provide low-cost, reliable electricity to its members. One benefit of being a co-op member is that you share in any excess revenue, which may be returned to you at a future time as “capital credits.” When those capital credits go unclaimed, they may be used by the Co-op to fund educational purposes such as Youth Tour and Flathead Electric Cooperative Scholarships.
2024 Youth Tour applications are now open!
Tell the outstanding area high school sophomores or juniors in your life that they have from October 1 – October 31 to apply for this life-changing experience. Participants go through a competitive application process involving transcripts, essays, and references.
2023 Youth Tour participants were Tayen Lackey, a senior at Flathead High School and the son of Shanti Lackey; Kyle McCormick, a homeschool senior and son of Kerri McCormick and Lonnie McCormick; and Kaylee Hampton, a junior at Flathead High School and the daughter of Amanda Hampton and Robert Hampton.
After Youth Tour, Hampton sat down with the Co-op to talk about her week in D.C. “Youth Tour is incredible,” Hampton shared. “As a speech and debate kid, I loved reading all the amazing quotes at the memorials, which were so powerful. It was a very reverent experience, very peaceful, very impactful. Touring the monuments was definitely the best moment of the trip, for me, and there were lots of great moments.”
Another of those moments was meeting the majority of Montana’s congressional delegation.
“Meeting Senator Daines, Senator Tester and Congressman Rosendale was super cool. Regardless of how I stand on issues, meeting them gave me faith that they understand the issues even if we don’t agree. They’re in D.C. for a reason and they even refer to themselves as public servants.”
NRECA organizes multiple events for Youth Tour participants, encouraging students from every state in the nation to get to know one another. At a dance Hampton attended, “The Montana kids did an amazing job swing dancing, which some of the other kids didn’t know about. We really held our own, and the dance was super fun. I now have pins from 30+ states in my closet. Montana can feel a little cut off from the rest of the world, and Youth Tour made me feel connected to other young Montanans, and people interested in politics and interesting opportunities from all over the country. I’ll never forget this week, and I’m so grateful for the experience.”