Of the many ways Kentucky’s electric cooperatives demonstrate commitment to community, perhaps none is more appreciated than youth tour activities.
Both the Kentucky Rural Electric Frankfort Youth Tour and Washington Youth Tour are coordinated by the statewide association.
Frankfort Youth Tour
Each spring, more than 100 high school juniors representing participating electric cooperatives across Kentucky spend a day in Frankfort learning about state government, Kentucky history and leadership. Typical activities include tours of the state capitol and governor’s mansion, and discussions with political leaders.
Washington Youth Tour
The Washington Youth Tour is an annual, week long, all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, that is open to select high school students whose homes are served by electric cooperatives.
Twenty-two of Kentucky’s 24 electric cooperatives participate in the Kentucky Rural Electric Washington Youth Tour.
Although all participants must be between their junior and senior years in high school and no older than 18 at the time of the Washington trip, each electric co-op has a unique method of selecting students for the trip. Some co-ops hold essay contests; some rely on personal interviews; some administer qualifying exams.
Students interested in the Washington Youth Tour trip must apply through the electric co-op that serves their area of the state. For example, students living in the Hopkinsville area may only apply through Pennyrile Electric Cooperative while students living in the Somerset area may only apply through South Kentucky RECC.
Kentucky Electric Cooperatives have been coordinating the tour for Kentucky co-ops since 1972, when 18 students and four chaperones made the trip.
Among Kentucky’s WYT alumni are business leaders, elected officials, journalists, and many engaged co-op members and citizens.