Two area students were among 69 rural Illinois youths in Washington, D.C., during the annual “Youth to Washington” Tour, held June 14-21. Jocelyn Nester of Springfield and William Ryan of Rochester represented Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative on the educational trip.
This event, sponsored by the electric and telephone cooperatives of Illinois since the late 1950s, is an introduction to our democratic form of government and cooperatives for rural youth.
The Illinois group joined more than 1,730 young leaders from across the country, a record high for the “Youth to Washington” Tour.
As part of the introduction to the cooperative business model, students on the trip set up a “Pop-and-Chip” cooperative to provide snacks for the group. The students start the cooperative from the ground up electing a board of directors, hiring a manager and employees along with setting prices for their “services.” Jocelyn and Will were both elected to the co-op’s board of directors, and were integral in setting prices and planning supplies for the week.
Juniors in local high schools are eligible to participate in the annual program, which begins with the Illinois Youth Day event held in the spring. To learn more about the “Youth to Washington” Tour go to www.youthtour.coop or www.facebook.com/ILYouthtoWashington.