High school juniors from Bourbon, Cuba, Owensville, Steelville and Sullivan have won unique leadership-development experiences as part of Crawford Electric Cooperative’s annual Youth Tour competition. Three were named the Youth Tour delegates and will head to Washington, D.C., in June. Six will become delegates to the Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience (CYCLE), which will be held in Jefferson City in July.
The contest results were announced on Wednesday, April 5. The nine contest finalists and more than 30 friends, family and teachers attended an event at the co-op where judging results were revealed.
This year’s D.C. delegates are Allison Ryerson of Bourbon High School, Sara Tuschhoff of Cuba High School and Sophia Gregor of Owensville High School. The six CYCLE delegates are Abby Hutchison of Bourbon High School; Breanna Mayberry and Kaitlyn Schebaum, both of Sullivan High School; Abby Kreitner and Tyson Harris, both of Steelville High School; Grace Abell of Owensville High School.
On the Youth Tour to Washington this summer, Allison, Sara and Sophia will become part of the Missouri delegation to a national conference of almost 1,700 young people from across the United States. The students will experience unique leadership-development opportunities, including special access to the halls of government, guided tours of the most-popular monuments and fun group activities over a week in June. CYCLE winners will enjoy similar activities at the state level over the course of several days in July.
Each year, Crawford Electric selects nine Youth Tour finalists based on students’ essays on a selected topic. Then, the finalists each create a short video introducing themselves, talking about their essay and answering a few questions about their plans for senior year and beyond.
Final judging to select the three D.C. Youth Tour winners is handled by three independent judges who read the essays and watched the students’ videos. The three top-scoring finalists become the Youth Tour delegates.
This format allows for a unique judging experience.
“Since the final competition is video based, we enlist co-op communicators from out of our area to serve as our judges,” said Lori Rego, Crawford Electric’s Youth Tour coordinator. “It’s a great opportunity to demonstrate cooperation among cooperatives and work with colleagues from across the country.”
Judges this year were Sarah Farlee in Kansas, Claudia Raffay in New Jersey, and Dusty Weter in Boone County, Missouri.