CANYON CITY - Jake Reynolds of Canyon City was among more than 1,500 high school students from across the country who participated in the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour held June 12-18, 2009, in Washington, D.C.
Selected on the basis of his outstanding academic, extracurricular, and community service achievements Reynolds was one of four youth sponsored by Oregon Trail Electric Consumers Cooperative (OTECC).
Each year in June, an action-filled week provides high school students opportunities to learn first-hand what it is like to be involved in politics, community service and today's pressing issues. The theme of the 2009 Youth Tour was "Our Energy, Our Future."
Highlights included meeting with U.S. Reps. Greg Walden and Peter DeFazio to discuss the process of government and issues of the day, and increasing their knowledge of cooperative electric utilities and American history.
"The Youth Tour trip was a very intense and action- packed week," said Reynolds. "From the touring of the historical sites, to watching the changing of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery, to meeting with my Congressmen, it was fun, educational, and life changing. It definitely has impacted my life in a positive way."
The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has been a joint effort of local electric co-ops, their statewide co-op associations, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for over 40 years. This marked the fourth year of OTECC's commitment to the program.
In addition to taking in the sights of the nation's capital, all the state groups convened for National Youth Day on June 15 to learn from public figures and other inspirational speakers.
This year's Youth Day agenda included Mike Schlappi, a four-time Paralympic Medalist and two-time world Champion Wheelchair Basketball champion.
OTECC sponsored one student from each of its four districts. The other students were Samantha Fritz (Baker), Lee Hopper (La Grande), and Irene Ribeiro (Burns).
Photos from the 2009 Youth Tour and additional comments from the Youth Tour participants will be made available on the OTECC Facebook page beginning in July.
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