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our Youth Tour Local Youth Shines at Annual Youth Tour Banquet Kay Electric Cooperative’s


Annual Youth Tour Banquet wrapped up on the evening of March 12. This year’s theme “If chosen as a Youth Tour delegate you will be traveling to Washington, D.C. to experi- ence and learn about America’s rich history. What moment in American history do you wish you had been a part of and how would you have contributed?” Area juniors wrote essays about America’s historic past, which included, a journey with Bonnie and Clyde, the Civil War and other interesting content involving America’s rich history. School administrators and fac- ulty, parents, KEC employees and directors, got the chance to listen and learn as the eight finalists presented their essays in speech form.


Jessica Cinnamon and Layton Heitfeld, both of Garber, were the big winners. Cinna- mon and Heitfeld will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. this summer. Kelsey Raupe of Medford High School and Kevin Severin of Garber High School won all- expense-paid trips to the Coop- erative Youth Leadership Con- ference in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Cash prizes were award- ed to Lawren Woodson of Med- ford High School, Ireya Calde- ron of Blackwell High School, Robby Webb of Medford High School and Landon Ferda of Blackwell High School. “These


eight finalists did an amazing job presenting their essays,” stated Austin Partida, KEC’s youth tour coordinator. “I know their parents and teachers were very proud of them as they all represented their schools very well.”


The essay contest is open to high school juniors from Blackwell, Braman, Newkirk, Shidler, Deer Creek- Lamont, Ponca City, Garber, Billings, Tonkawa, Frontier and Medford. A third-party judge, who judged the written essays on content, originality, gram- mar and neatness, chose the eight finalists. The top four boys and four girls with the best es- says were invited to attend the Youth Tour Banquet to present the essays in speech form and answer three questions from the judges. Judging the contest were Natalie Kramer of New Spin 360, Bruce DeMuth of


Pioneer Tech and John Robert- son of the Blackwell Chamber/ Blackwell Industrial Authority. KEC has been send-


ing local high school juniors to Washington, D.C., since 1963. “KEC’s Youth Tour Ban- quet allows KEC employees, directors, school faculty, par- ents and most importantly, the students to come together for a special evening,” Partida said. “All of the finalists are winners, whether it’s the D.C. trip or a cash prize.”


Cinnamon and Heitfeld as the top winners, will also have the opportunity to com- pete at the state level for the coveted Oklahoma Represen- tative on the Youth Consulting Board for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Associa- tion in June.


Raupe and Severin as


runner-ups will have the chance to be chosen as an Oklahoma Ambassador for the multi- state camp. KEC’s Youth Tour pro- gram is an annual contest. Essay entries open in Janu- ary and the banquet is held in March.


Kay Electric’s 2014 Youth Tour Finalists: Back row L-R – Rob- by Webb, Landon Ferda, Kevin Severin and Layton Heitfeld. Front row L-R – Ireya Calde- ron, Lawren Woodson, Kelsey Raupe and Jessica Cinnamon.


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