BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. – It takes place each year, but neither the joy nor sorrow diminish at the end of the competition for the Washington Youth Tour.
The joy comes from naming the winners and the sorrow from telling other hopefuls they won’t be making the trip to the Capitol of the United States.
“You wish all the students could go,” said Heath Barker, chief information officer at Mohave Electric Cooperative. “They all put in the time and effort, but we can only send six.”
The finalists were selected after three judges independently reviewed and graded a short essay by high school juniors. The 12 best average scores were picked to advance. A five-minute oral presentation on Oct. 25 was the deciding factor.
Four members of the community served as judges for the oral presentation and ranked the students based on specific criteria.
The six winners are: Anna Kuzminsky, Kyle Colby, Kaileb Bayliss, Jacob Thompson, and Caleb Fearing from Mohave High School and Madina Roshan from Mohave Accelerated Schools.
Bailey Edgington, of MHS, was named the alternate and will make the trip if any of the six is unable to go.
From June 13-20, 2019, the six students representing MEC will receive an all-expenses paid educational experience in Washington, D.C., excluding items such as souvenirs. An adult chaperone will accompany the students.
The six winners will have an opportunity to visit historic sites, spend time at the Smithsonian museums, tour memorials, hear about the importance of the cooperative model, and meet their member of Congress.
“This is a unique opportunity for juniors in our rural communities to experience history from a hands-on perspective,” Barker said. “These kids will return with a deeper understanding of U.S. and world history.”
In 2018, MEC raised the number of winners from two to six, dramatically improving the odds for interested students to win.
Any high school junior whose parents or guardians are an MEC member is eligible to apply.
This marks the 27th year MEC has selected area students to participate in the Washington Youth Tour, which is funded with assigned capital credits at no cost to the cooperative.
“Mohave Electric is proud to sponsor this competition,” Barker said. “Today’s students will be tomorrow’s leaders, and this is a chance for six youths to take that first step.”