The following was written by CCEC’s Youth Tour representative. In her letter, Abby Osowski recounts her experience. Each year, CCEC selects a high school student, based on an essay/poster contest, and sends the winner to Washington D.C. for the National Youth Tour. The event, which is organized by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, enables youth to learn about the political process and meet members of Congress.
Hi, my name is Abby and I had the chance to attend the 2012 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour this summer. The tour consisted of 1,500 kids like me from all around the country. The tour took place in Washington D.C. and each cooperative sent one high school student to represent their cooperative. It gave the student the opportunity to learn the importance of a cooperative as well as learn more about the political process. I got to travel with kids from North Dakota, Montana and Idaho. It was also fun to meet kids from all over the country.
My group got to do a lot on the trip and we were able to learn so much! We were exhausted when it was over, but the experiences we had and the information we learned was so worth it! We got to see where the battle of Gettysburg took place, the Marine Corps Silent Drill, all the monuments and much more. We also spent a day at the Capitol where we met with our North Dakota Congressmen and Senator. We got to ask them questions about situations involving our state and our country. We also asked questions about what a typical day was like for them. I found that they are very busy people. Politics are something I really have an interest in, so it was very inspiring to know what these people did in their life to get to this point. It gave me ideas on how to start following the political path. I was especially excited to talk to some of the interns and learn more about this opportunity.
One thing I really enjoyed on the trip was the people I met. It’s amazing what good friends we had become by the end of the trip. Those of us from North Dakota have already formed a Facebook group to keep in touch. It was great to have two chaperones, Arden and Amy on the trip because they came from the area I lived in North Dakota. They were amazing chaperones and they made the trip even better. It’s funny to think that a state that is somewhat small, you can meet so many amazing people! When we got off the plane at the end of our trip, we did not want to say goodbye! I would have to say that was the hardest part of the entire week.
Thank you so much Cass County Electric for giving me the opportunity to go on this trip. I learned so much and was also inspired many times along the way. I enjoyed meeting new people and I know that this trip is one I definitely will never forget!