A 2018 Washington Youth Tour participant, Mohave High School senior Monica Houltram was recently invited to attend the Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association annual meeting and legislative conference. She was introduced in the House by Arizona Rep. Regina Cobb and had an opportunity to spend time with Arizona Sen. Sonny Borrelli and Mohave Electric Cooperative CEO Tyler Carlson. More on this in the April issue of MEC's newsletter Currents.
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.”
(above: winners of 2018 Youth Tour in front of the White House)
Washington Youth Tour Presentation
You’re probably wondering why an electric utility is offering a trip to Washington D.C.
- All electric cooperatives in Arizona send at least one representative on this trip.
What is a cooperative, you ask? You probably don’t even give it a second thought now, but when you’re out on your own and paying a power bill, you will appreciate an electric cooperative that much more.
This trip – the Washington Youth Tour – is part of our Commitment to Community at MEC, where we now send SIX students (up until last year it was just two students), to represent the cooperative on the national tour, which is sponsored by the NRECA.
The six students from our area will travel with representatives from other Arizona Co-ops ---- About 60 kids in all!!
So, what do you have to do to qualify for the Washington Youth Tour?
- Complete an application and write a 300 – 500-word essay about 1 of 3 topics.
- Must be a High Scool Junior.
- Parent or guardian must be a member of Mohave Electric.
We know just the word “essay” may result in anxiety for some. But just think – we are choosing SIX STUDENTS this year, not just TWO.
Six Local Students Earn Place on 2018 Washington Youth Tour
Winners of MEC’s annual competition, held on October 19 at Mohave Community College, are Amy Cervantes and Anna Grasso of River Valley High School; Mikayla Barton, Monica Houltram and Alex Westwood of Mohave High School; and homeschooled high school junior Jacob Mieding. Brianna Lipinski from Mohave High School was selected as the group’s alternate.
The six students will join more than 1,800 students from electric cooperatives across the U.S. for the Youth Tour program that provides the opportunity to visit historical sites in our nation’s capitol and experience the workings of our federal government.
The Mohave Electric-sponsored competition was open to area high school juniors whose parents or guardians are MEC members. From their original applications - which included an essay - semi-finalists were chosen to participate in a presentation contest based on a randomly assigned energy-related topic. Subjects ranged from energy challenges that will affect future generations to energy efficiency to the economic future of energy. A panel of four community leaders served as judges, who ranked the students based on scaled criteria of content, subject knowledge, organization, delivery, eye contact, appearance, and use of visual aids.
The 2018 competition marks the 26th year Mohave has selected area students to participate in the national youth tour. This highly educational program is funded with assigned capital credits at no cost to the cooperative.
“Trip of a Lifetime” winners are all smiles following the speech competition for the 2018 Washington Youth Tour on October 19 at MCC’s Bullhead Campus. (L-R) Mohave Electric Public Affairs and Communications Specialist and event co-emcee Paul LaVoie; Amy Cervantes and Anna Grasso from River Valley High; Brianna Lipinski (alt.), Monica Houltram, Mikayla Barton and Alex Westwood of Mohave High; home-schooled high school junior Jacob Mieding, and MEC Energy Management Specialist and co-emcee Steve Bouman.
L-R Monica Houltram, Gina Reese(MEC Member Service Manager), Mikayla Barton, Amy Cervantes, Anna Grasso, Alex Westood and Jacob Meiding