PRECO Sends Local Students to Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C.

PRECO students Ashleigh Koza (left) and Abby Callejas-Mejia at the White House
PRECO students Ashleigh Koza (left) and Abby Callejas-Mejia at the White House

Every June for more than 50 years, high schoolers from across the nation flock to Washington, D.C., for the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. It’s an opportunity for young men and women to enjoy a weeklong, once-in-a-lifetime event which brings approximately 1,800 students to the nation’s capital.

Each student is sponsored for the all-expenses-paid Youth Tour trip by their local electric cooperative. Each year, Peace River Electric Cooperative selects two rising 12th graders as student-delegates to Youth Tour.

PRECO selected Abigail “Abby” Callejas-Mejia and Ashleigh Koza to attend this year’s Youth Tour trip. To apply, they were required to complete an application, write an essay and conduct a personal interview.

Abby, a student of Mulberry High School in Polk County, and Ashleigh, of Durant High School in Hillsborough County, traveled with 30 other students sponsored by 11 Florida electric co-ops. The group toured Arlington National Cemetery, the Capitol Building, the National Cathedral, the World War II, Korean and Vietnam war memorials, and the Lincoln, Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Franklin D. Roosevelt memorials. Students also visited the Smithsonian museums and met with members of Congress on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

The annual Youth Tour is coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), headquartered in Arlington, VA.

PRECO is proud to provide the opportunity for students to experience history and discover more about their government through Youth Tour.

STUDENT COMMENTS

Abigail “Abby” Callejas-Mejia

Youth Tour is a life-changing experience and it helped me evolve into a better leader. This was my first time on an airplane and meeting so many new people from all over the nation. I loved meeting new people and realizing that there are so many students like me. It made me realize that there is so much for me to discover.

Ashleigh Koza

The two places that impacted me most were the Pentagon Memorial and the Holocaust Museum. The Pentagon memorial had a deep meaning and everything in the memorial was just so sad. I’ve been to the Holocaust Museum before, but you see a new thing every time you visit.