As you know, in the past we have sponsored two students for the “Government-In-Action” Youth Tour Contest. This year things are different because of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m saddened to announce that, for the second year in a row, Youth Tour has been canceled.
Along with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and other statewide cooperative associations, the Texas Electric Cooperatives Board of Directors decided to cancel the state’s participation in the 2021 Youth Tour.
This decision was made out of an abundance of safety and caution for all those involved. After carefully considering the resources required to properly ensure the health and well-being of more than 200 Texas delegates and 20 chaperones, the TEC board determined that the risk was not worth the reward.
The cancellation comes as a big blow to all of us here at Hamilton County Electric Cooperative (HCEC). Youth Tour represents one of our most important investments in the future of the communities we serve. The students who participate in Youth Tour travel to Austin and Washington to learn about the important role of electric cooperatives, meet their congressional representatives, and gain a deeper perspective on the history and mechanisms of our democracy. Attendees often return with a renewed commitment to their hometowns, and many have gone on to become teachers, doctors, lawyers, politicians and even co-op employees in those communities.
Of course, the biggest loss of the cancellation is felt by the young people who won’t get the chance to take the trip. Many have anticipated Youth Tour for years, hearing friends and family who have participated call it the trip of a lifetime.
This year, we are asking students to submit an essay on the following topic:
“If you had the opportunity to change one thing about your school or community, what would it be and why?”
A panel of judges will select two winners from the written essays submitted. These two winners with each receive a $1000 scholarship from Hamilton County Electric Cooperative.
I understand we can’t quite make up for a trip to Washington, D.C., but certainly wanted to offer this amazing opportunity to local students!
If you have any questions about the changes to the essay contest, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I have included the 2021 Youth Tour Essay Scholarship Contest Application for copies to be made for you and for your students. Please help me promote this Youth Tour Scholarship opportunity for your students.
Rest assured, as soon as conditions are deemed safe, HCEC will jump on the chance to send students once again on this unforgettable trip.
For more information please contact Keela Payne by email firstname.lastname@example.org.