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OTEC announces winners of 2017 Washington D.C. Youth Tour 

Its time for Bonny Daggett of Imbler, Anna Gambill of La Grande, Mason Tomac of Baker City and Annie Wall of Canyon City to start brushing up on their history of electric cooperatives and getting ready to pack their bags. All four local high school student leaders have been selected to represent Oregon Trail Electric Co-op for a one-week, all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the 2017 Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.

OTEC's 2017 Youth Tour delegates will represent Oregon and the Northwest as they join nearly 1.500 students from across the United States for a once in a lifetime trip to our nation's capital. The trip will be held from June 9 - June 15, 2017.

Over the course of the tour, OTEC's delegates will visit famous historical sites, meet with congressional leaders and learn leadership skills. The students will also create podcasts and digital photo projects as they learn about electrical cooperatives and current issues in energy and climate change legislation that face our communities and our nation.

It is part of our Seven Cooperative Principles to dedicate education and training to the advancement of youth within the communities we serve. This is an invaluable opportunity for these young leaders to travel and experience our nation's capital. It is, for many, an once-in-a-lifetime event.

The tour was initiated after Senator Lyndon B. Johnson suggested that co-op leaders send young, promising student leaders to the nation's capital where they could have the opportunity to see, first-hand, "what the American flag stands for and represents." OTEC's student delegates will have a week packed full visiting historical war memorials, national archives, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian to name a few.

Previous Youth Tour participants have become university presidents, CEO's of Fortune 500 companies, and members of Congress. In 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook credited the Youth Tour with his first trip to Washington in his commencement speech to graduates of George Washington University. Over the past 51 years, nearly 50,000 students have visited Washington through the Youth Tour.

If you are a high school sophomore heading into your junior year and would like more details on the Rural Electric Youth Tour, mark your calendar and visit Applications for the 2018 tour will be available beginning November 2017.

Oregon Trail Electric is a non-profit electrical cooperative serving 23,000 members in Baker, Grant, Harney and Union counties. Youth Tour funds come from unclaimed capital credits and their earnings. They do not affect electric rates.

OTEC is also a member of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) which represents the nation's more than 900 private, not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperatives, and provides service to 42 million people in 47 states.

Applications for the 2018 Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour will be available starting 
November 6, 2017