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The Youth Tour Experience Inspiring the next generation of leaders


“Youth Tour is an unparalleled, once-in-


a-lifetime experience that taught me to fully appreciate our great nation.” T is statement from 2013 winner Megan


Ragsdale sums up the purpose of Youth Tour and why we, as an electric cooperative, invest our resources to ensure the next generation truly appreciates our freedoms and history. Ragsdale joined Taylor Bookout, Patrick Bruce


and Peyton Hayes in June as OEC’s representatives during the annual Youth Tour trip to Washington, D.C., alongside 70 other soon-to-be seniors from across the state. Together (and with chaperones), they spent seven days hitting the capital city’s most well-known spots and making new, lifelong friends. Another unique experience for the future-


leaders was the chance to speak with Oklahoma’s Congressmen. For one OEC winner, it even hinted at a possible future career. “I found it very motivational and exciting


to hear from our state’s representatives and having a brief glimpse of what it is like to be a Congressman,” Bruce said. “T is is something I would defi nitely like to do later in my life and the trip furthered my excitement to serve in that capacity.”


14 September 2013


by Brianna Wall If you have the privilege of knowing any of


these four students, you know the future—if left in their bright and capable hands—holds great things for our local communities, state, and nation.


Youth Tour is a two-part essay and speech


competition with the reward being a seven-day, all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with like-minded peers from across the state and nation. Each year, OEC sponsors four local students to attend the trip with Oklahoma’s delegation led by representatives from Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives. While in D.C., they visit places like Arlington


Cemetery, Ford T eatre, Lincoln and Vietnam War Memorials, and the Smithsonian Museums. However, watching the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier seems to impact the students, as well as the chaperones and everyone watching, the most each year. Brianna Wall, communications specialist, visits


area schools in January each year to inform the juniors of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and how they can take advantage of it. Contact her (217-6708 or brianna.wall@okcoop.org) for more information.


Youth News


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