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Youth Tour winners receive Cooperative scholarship

Branson, Missouri 

The Youth Tour program is deeply rooted in history, starting in 1957 when Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) at Annual Meeting in Chicago. The Senator declared, “If one thing goes out of this meeting, it will be sending youngsters to the national capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”

Since then, the annual Youth Tour program has grown into a hallmark event. Each year, WRVEC sends three local high school juniors on an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to learn about history, government, and the positive impact of cooperatives.

2020 applicants were tasked with the topic, “How will the Cooperative power your future?” WRVEC received many fantastic essays, and finalists were asked to attend the annual banquet and present their submissions. However, this year’s banquet and trip were canceled and judges scored submissions remotely.

The 2020 Youth Tour winners are Abigail Pride (Bradleyville), Erin McKinzie (Gainesville), and Hope Barker (Homeschool, Spokane). They received an unprecedented scholarship in the amount of $1,500, plus the additional funds allocated for the trip.

“I’d like to congratulate this year’s Youth Tour winners for their hard work and effort. They have shown great resiliency and poise under these unforeseen circumstances,” said Nathan Stearns, WRVEC Community Programs Coordinator.

The annual Youth Tour contest is open to students who live and attend school in White River Valley Electric Cooperative’s service area, or who have WRVEC service in their homes. Submissions for the 2021 program will be accepted in the spring. For more information about the Youth Tour program, visit


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White River Valley Electric Cooperative is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative dedicated to ensuring our members receive safe and reliable service in their homes and businesses across five southwest Missouri counties including Ozark, Taney, Stone, Christian and Douglas.