Essay Guidelines/FAQ

Essay Guidelines/FAQ

What is Youth Tour?

Every June, over 1,500 high school students from across the country travel to our nation’s capital as part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Tour. The students are sponsored by their electric cooperatives for the experience to interact with other students from across rural America. During the week, they learn about the role electric cooperatives play in developing strong rural communities. They visit national monuments, enjoy a sunset dinner/cruise on the Potomac River, tour the Capitol and have a meet and greet with their local U.S. Congressional Representative. 


How do I apply for Youth Tour?

It is very easy to apply.  A student from each high school will be selected to represent the cooperative on Youth Tour through an essay contest. Essay entries must be typed and be a minimum of 150 words in length. Choose from one of the following topics:

“Electricity’s Importance to the Eastern Shore

“What Would Life Be Like Without Access To Electricity”

Due to COVID-19, essays can be submitted directly to the cooperative by filling out the Youth Tour Application and Essay Form.

If you have any questions, please email Jay Diem, Youth Tour Coordinator or call 787-9750, extension 356.

More information on the NRECA Youth Tour.


Why Youth Tour?

Possibly the best reason to apply to be a part of Youth Tour is that it is FREE!  It is 100 percent paid for by A&N Electric Cooperative, your cooperative. The only money you will need is for souvenirs.  We provide the snacks, the fun, and you even receive free T-shirts for certain days of the tour. Besides the educational experience, our mission is to expose you to sights and sounds of our nation’s history and appreciate our democratic form of government. You also build leadership skills and create lasting relationships with other students like yourselves.


History of Youth Tour 

In the late 1950’s, Senator Lyndon Johnson inspired the Youth Tour movement when he addressed the NRECA Annual Meeting in Chicago.   Consequently, Texas electric cooperatives sent groups of young people to Washington. It has grown to a program that has seen nearly 50,000 students participate including alumni that are now members of the Senate and Congress as well as CEOs of major companies.


History of Electric Cooperatives                 

In the mid-1930s, nine out of 10 rural homes did not have electricity.  Rural America was dependent on agriculture for economic growth as factories and businesses preferred to locate in cities where electricity was easily acquired.  For many years, the power companies ignored the rural areas of our nation. This began to change with the passage of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act in May, 1933. This act authorized construction of transmission lines to serve farms and small villages with electricity at reasonable rates. President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933 and promised to provide federal assistance to accomplish rural electrification. On May 11, 1935, Roosevelt signed an executive order establishing the REA. By 1953, more than 90 percent of America’s farms had electricity.


What is a Cooperative?

A cooperative is a private, non-profit corporation owned by its consumer-members. Each consumer is a member with one vote in the affairs of the cooperative. Governed by an elected board of directors, an annual meeting is held to conduct the business of the cooperative. Rates are established through the board and approved through The State Corporation Commission, a Virginia regulatory agency. Any revenues that exceed expenses are “margins” which are returned back to the member owners in the form of capital credits. This return maintains the non-profit status of the cooperative.