WASHINGTON -- What do you get when 71 students from 27 Illinois electric and telephone cooperatives join more than 1,800 of their peers across the United States?
You get the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth to Washington Tour.
Two local students were selected from a diverse group of applicants to represent SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative (SEIEC) to enjoy an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. from June 8-15 as part of the annual Youth Tour.
The 2018 Youth Tour delegates from SEIEC included Victoria Mueller of Johnston City and Kelsi Watson of Harrisburg.
The students toured Capitol Hill and met with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Congressman Mike Bost and Congressman John Shimkus. They also visited historical and cultural sites including Arlington National Cemetery, the Supreme Court, Newseum, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, a variety of memorials and the U.S. Capitol.
Among fun activities the students enjoyed were the Marine Corps Sunset Parade, the Smithsonian Museums and an assembly of Youth Tour participants from across the nation.
"Youth Tour is a great opportunity that changes these students' lives," said Dustin Tripp, President/CEO of SEIEC. "This experience helps prepare them for their futures. After touring our nation's capital, meeting congressional representatives and learning firsthand how our government works, they return home with valuable knowledge and memories that will last a lifetime."
Since 1964, the nation's cooperative electric and telephone utilities have sponsored more than 60,000 high school students to visit Washington, D.C. To learn more about the Youth to Washington Tour, go to www.youthtour.coop.
SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative is a member of Touchstone Energy -- an alliance of 750 local, consumer-owned electric utilities around the country. SouthEastern is committed to providing superior service based on four core principles: integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.
The co-op serves more than 24,077 accounts over 3,577 miles of line in Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Saline, White and Williamson counties. For more information visit www.seiec.com.