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Patriotism in action

By Vin Nitido, Trico CEO and GM

Every June, Trico sends four high school juniors to Washington, D.C., as part of the Washington Youth Tour. Students get to see the legislative process in action, visit historical sites, learn about co-ops and meet students from around the nation. This is a great way to evoke a sense of patriotism in our young people especially right before the Fourth of July.

For many teens, the Washington Youth Tour is full of “firsts.” It may be the first time they left the state, flew on a plane, visited the nation’s capital or have been away from their family for an extended period of time.

Youth Tour sprang from a suggestion of then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson to a national gathering of co-ops. Johnson felt youth from rural areas would benefit by visiting Washington to see first-hand how government works and gain a wider perspective through the experience. From this idea, Youth Tour evolved. High school juniors selected by their electric co-ops participate in a weeklong trip to the nation’s capital. The program has grown rapidly since its inception and this year, more than 1,800 high school juniors participated from co-ops in 44 states.

Youth Tour is so much more than a sightseeing trip. Through the Washington Youth Tour, Many make lifelong friends. For a few, Youth Tour is a transformational experience. Parents remark how their child returned noticeably different – more mature, more confident with bigger goals and aspirations; they have a sense of purpose.

For Karly Gay – one of four students Trico sent to D.C. – visiting the Vietnam Memorial and paying tribute to three family members was a “powerful and touching experience.”

“It’s an experience I would never have had without the Washington Youth Tour,” Karly said. “Thank you for sending me. You’ve made my usually boring, uneventful summer exciting. I had so much fun.”

Our teens are our future, and it’s looking brighter every day. I hope you will consider urging your teen to “take the leap” and join our next Youth Tour delegation.

In September, Trico will begin the process of selecting local students to attend Youth Tour 2019. If you know a high school junior interested in traveling to Washington, D.C., to experience the trip of a lifetime, encourage them to apply here.