Local Student Visits Nation’s Capital on Electric Cooperative Youth Tour

Posted: July 7, 2023 at 10:58 am

Approximately 1,800 high schools students gathered in Washington, D.C. June 18-23 as delegates to the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.

LaTonya Nolen of Enfield poses inside the U.S. Capitol Building during the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.

Dozens of North Carolina students, including one local delegate sponsored by Halifax EMC, took part in the week-long opportunity.

LaTonya Nolen of Enfield was selected as a delegate to the Tour by Halifax EMC after completing an application and essay. LaTonya is a rising senior at Halifax County Early College.

On the Youth Tour, students participated in leadership training, engaged in one-on-one conversations with elected officials, jumpstarted their national peer network, learned about electric cooperatives and toured D.C.’s historic monuments and museums.

“Our Youth Tourists explored D.C. with confidence and curiosity, and that was great to see,” said Julia Allsbrook, manager of marketing and economic development. “The Youth Tour emphasizes the importance of civic engagement and the fact that politics touch every aspect of life. We hope the experiences and skills that delegates gained during the trip will benefit them on their journey to becoming our next great leaders.”

On the seven-day tour, students learned about United States history at the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and many of the Smithsonian museums. The delegates paid their respects to soldiers who lost their lives in service to the nation at Arlington National Cemetery, and visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall as well as the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Several members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation answered policy questions and offered advice to the students in a meeting on Capitol Hill.

For 58 years, America’s electric cooperatives have brought students together from communities across America to build connections and practice leadership on the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Forty-three students from North Carolina participated this year, joining peers representing electric co-ops in 43 states.

Students apply and are selected for the Youth Tour program by their local electric cooperative. Nearly 50,000 students have participated in this program nationally, and Halifax EMC has sent local students since 1967.

See highlights, photos and live videos from the North Carolina Youth Tour on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.