Students visit D.C. during Youth Tour

Published 12:39 pm Monday, July 22, 2019

Eight rising seniors from high schools in Southside Electric Cooperative’s (SEC) service area recently enjoyed a fast-paced, fun-filled week in the nation’s capital.

SEC’s eight joined almost 50 other students representing cooperatives in the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC) and some 1,800 more from across the country for the 2019 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., from June 16-20.

Representing SEC were Christopher Bailey, Amelia County High School; Kate Foster, Rustburg High School; Tiba Hamza, Prince Edward County High School; Sydney Harmon, Kenston Forest School; Joshua Jordan, Powhatan High School; Na’kihya Ragsdale, Central (Lunenburg) High School; Melody Samuels, Appomattox County High School; and Cody Whorley, Manchester High School.

SEC’s Youth Tour delegates visited several memorials, including ones to presidents Jefferson and Lincoln and World War II, toured the National Museum of African American History and Culture, cruised the Potomac River, watched the solemn changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, saw elephants and a tiger at the National Zoo, watched “Hello, Dolly!” at the Kennedy Center, got an inside tour of the Pentagon and met with 5th District Rep. Denver Riggleman and Sen. Mark Warner. They also heard from Mike Schlappi, a four-time Paralympic medalist, and Jim Matheson, chief executive officer of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

“Youth Tour was a life-changing experience that I will never forget,” Foster said. “The trip wouldn’t have been the same without the other students chosen. Those students will be my good friends for years to come. I encourage every rising senior to apply for this opportunity, because if I could, I would apply every year. The trip truly has something for everybody.”

Youth Tour started in 1958 at the suggestion of then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson. Since then, some 50,000 students from rural America have traveled to Washington, D.C., as part of the annual trip.

Information about the 2020 Youth Tour will be available at www. and from high school guidance counselors early next year.