From left are Autumn McMahan, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., and Campbell Neely. Photo provided.

Southern Illinois young people participate in annual Youth to Washington Tour

What do you get when 71 students from 27 Illinois electric and telephone cooperatives join more than 1,800 of their peers across the United States? 

You get the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, NRECA, Youth to Washington Tour.

Two local students were selected from a diverse group of applicants to represent Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative, SIEC, for an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., June 8-15 as part of the annual youth tour. 

The 2018 tour delegates from SIEC included Autumn McMahan of Wolf Lake and Campbell Neely of Metropolis.

The students toured Capitol Hill and met with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., and U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill. 

The students also visited historical and cultural sites, including Arlington National Cemetery, the Supreme Court, the Newseum, the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, a variety of memorials and the U.S. Capitol. 

The students also attended a Marine Corps sunset parade, visited the Smithsonian Museums and also were part of an assembly of youth tour participants from across the nation.

Chris Bennett, the executive vice president/general manager of SIEC, said the youth tour “is a great opportunity that changes these students’ lives.”

“This experience helps prepare them for their futures. After touring our nation’s capital, meeting congressional representatives and learning firsthand how our government works, they return home with valuable knowledge and memories that will last a lifetime.”

Since 1964, the nation’s cooperative electric and telephone utilities have sponsored more than 60,000 high school students who had an opportunity to visit Washington, D.C.

Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative is a member of Touchstone Energy, an alliance of 750 local, consumer-owned electric utilities around the country. 

The co-op serves more than 11,285 meters over 2,108 miles of line in parts of Alexander, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union counties. 

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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