Ten local high school students from within Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s service area were recognized Dec. 1 at an awards reception honoring the winners of the cooperative’s Youth Tour essay contest. As part of the program, they will be rewarded with an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
This year’s winners are: Tinsley Glenn and Michael Martinets of Dripping Springs High School; Mahek Dhuka, Juan Guerrero and Valerie Martin of Leander High School; and Blake Fall, Callie Fleming, Ryan Giberson, Megan Gillam and Isaac White of Jack C. Hays High School. This year, 396 entries were received.
“Our Hill Country youth continue to impress us year after year,” said PEC Connections & Community Engagement Director Trista Fugate. “This year’s winning essays showed an impressive depth of thought about the challenges our region may face over the next 14 years.”
This year’s essay prompt asked students to envision themselves running for the PEC board of directors in 2030.
PEC’s contest winners will visit Washington, D.C., June 7-16, 2017, joining students from other electric cooperatives around the country. In Washington, they will visit historical sites, meet their local representatives and see government in action firsthand.
“This investment in our youth is an investment in the future of our community,” Fugate said.
The Youth Tour program was envisioned in 1957 by then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, one of PEC’s founders, who proposed the idea to send “youngsters to the national capital, where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.” The tradition spread to cooperatives across the country, and today, almost 1,500 students visit Washington each year as a result of nationwide electric cooperative sponsorship.
PEC has participated in the Youth Tour program for more than 60 years.