Youth Programs

Today's youth. Tomorrow's leaders.

The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour

​The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has brought more than 1,500 high school students to Washington, D.C., every June since the early 1960s.

Students on the tour learn about electric cooperatives, American history and U.S. government. This is more than a sight-seeing trip of Washington, D.C. There is a strong educational component—teaching the importance of being an active participant in our democracy. A highlight of the trip is to meet and talk with their representatives in the House and the Senate.

Students are selected for this program by their local electric cooperatives based on the overall strength of the applicant.


Please enter a value

Please enter a value

Why We Have Youth Programs

​There may be no better example of the cooperative principles—Education, Training and Information and Commitment to Community—than the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Impacting the lives of young people is extremely important to the cooperative community. The mission of the youth programs sponsored by local electric cooperatives is built on the belief that textbooks and lectures alone are not enough to help young people understand the democratic process and gain the skills necessary to become tomorrow's leaders. Rather, today's teenagers also need an opportunity to experience government first-hand by visiting the nation's capital and engaging in interactive workshops and discussion.

How NRECA is Involved

​The Youth Tour program is coordinated by the Grassroots Advocacy team of NRECA’s Government Relations Department. The message that NRECA conveys is that political and civic involvement continue to be at the core of electric cooperatives. Explaining the history of electric cooperatives and the values they represent is important as this next generation of leaders takes hold and follows their dreams—whether in a classroom, on a farm, at their local cooperative or in the halls of Congress.