Youth Tour


South Alabama Electric Cooperative has always believed in educating members of our community about what makes the cooperative model special. It is especially important to teach our area’s students about the electric industry so they are prepared to make informed decisions in the future. 

“Our young people will be the ones making decisions for this cooperative years from now,” says Andy Kimbro, manager of member services. “Those choices will impact everything from how electricity is generated to how much it costs to light our homes.” 

The Youth Tour is a key way SAEC helps to educate students. Over its lifetime, the cooperative has sponsored hundreds of local students to visit both the Alabama state capital in Montgomery and our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C.

The seed of the Youth Tour program goes back to former President Lyndon Johnson’s days as a senator when he addressed the 1957 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association annual meeting in Chicago. 

Speaking to the NRECA, Johnson said, “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.”

The Youth Tour was born that summer, starting with a group of Texas cooperatives that sent some of its young members to work in Johnson’s office in Washington. The following year, cooperatives from Iowa and Illinois followed suit, sending buses full of students to the capital for weeklong study tours.

The Youth Tour has been an important part of educating young cooperative members across the country for more than 50 years since.

Today, the tour gives students from our own service area the chance to visit Montgomery, where they learn about the workings of state government and the part cooperatives play in shaping important policy.

“The trip gives our students a rare opportunity to visit the state capital on a two-and-a-half-day trip.  They meet with their legislators, ask them questions and meet other students like them from around the state,” says Kimbro. “It’s also an early chance to start expanding and building on their leadership skills.”

Two students from the Montgomery Youth Tour are then selected for the D.C. Youth Tour, where they learn how rural electrification works on a national scale and how federal laws are made. They even meet their elected officials in person. 

Both Youth Tours help young cooperative members learn important leadership skills and develop a thorough understanding of the cooperative mission.

SAEC is proud to be able to provide such a unique and formative opportunity for the future leaders of our community.


The 2019 Montgomery Youth Tour is March 12-14. Students selected to represent SAEC will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to join the more than 100 high school students from 17 cooperatives across the state who take part in the annual conference. 

The tour includes opportunities for students to join in leadership sessions on topics such as transcending negative peer pressure and the importance of teamwork. Attendees will also tour landmarks like the Alabama State House, the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the Alabama Capitol and
the Civil Rights Memorial.


The 2019 Washington Youth Tour is June 14-20, bringing together more than 1,000 students from across the country. Of the group representing SAEC at the Montgomery Youth Tour, the cooperative will choose two top students to receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington.

D.C. Youth Tour attendees will visit famous national monuments and museums, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Newseum and many more. Students will also have the chance to meet their local
congressional representatives, participate in leadership seminars, and sit in on important meetings and events relevant to local, state and national cooperatives.

Apply today WHO CAN APPLY?

If you’re a junior attending a high school in Pike, Coffee or Crenshaw County, or if your parents are members
of SAEC, you’re eligible to apply for the Youth Tour.


Ten students will be selected to attend the Montgomery Youth Tour on March 12-14. Students will visit with their state representatives, meet students from other cooperatives, visit Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, hear motivational speakers and learn about rural cooperatives’ role in the history of Alabama. 


Of the 10 students selected for the Montgomery Youth Tour, two of those students will be selected to attend the Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. Those two students will visit their national representatives and meet students from across the country. They will also visit monuments and get a firsthand look at our nation’s history.



  • Click here for the 2019 APPLICATION or talk to your school guidance counselor.
  • The application and all supporting documents must be completed and submitted to your school guidance counselor or mailed to:

    South Alabama Electric Cooperative
    ATTN: Andy Kimbro
    P.O. Box 449
    Troy, AL 36081
  • Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. An independent panel of judges will select participants from the qualified applicants based on their application and essay. Students will be notified by email if they have been selected for the interview stage. 
  • Interviews are Friday, Jan. 11, after which participants for the Montgomery and Washington tours will be selected. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SAEC and the cooperative model to prepare for their interview.
  • Based on the interview results, 10 students will be selected to attend the state conference in Montgomery, while two will be chosen to represent SAEC at the Washington conference. 

 2018 Montgomery Youth Tour winners visit Washington, D.C.

From left to right: Shyanne Allen – Zion Chapel High School, Emmy Stevens – Pike Liberal Arts High School, Sarah Dunn – Goshen High School, Lillian Paige Hermeling – Brantley High School, Kaylee Ferraro – Pike Liberal Arts High School, Sarah Railey -  Goshen High School, Natalie Kennedy – Brantley High School, Maxx Copeland – Pike Liberal Arts High School, Savannah Parker – Zion Chapel High School, Hailey Grant – Zion Chapel High School

First row: Maxx Copeland (Pike Liberal Arts), Emmy Stevens (Pike Liberal Arts), Lillian Paige Hermeling (Brantley High School) Second Row: Sarah Railey (Goshen High School), Kaylee Ferraro (Pike Liberal Arts), Natalie Kennedy (Brantley High School) Third Row: Sarah Dunn (Goshen High School), Hailey Grant (Zion Chapel High School) Fourth Row: Savannah Parker (Zion Chapel High School), Shyanne Allen (Zion Chapel High School)

 View a video about Montgomery Youth Tour

2017 National Youth Tour winners visit Washington, D.C.  

Two winners selected from the 2017 Montgomery Youth Tour had a trip of a lifetime during the National Youth Tour week in Washington DC.  Dakarai Siler from Goshen High School and Brooklyn Norris from Zion Chapel High School were part of this year’s National Youth Tour program.  They along with nearly 1,600 other students from across the nation and their 250 chaperones gathered in Washington DC June 9th – 15th for the 53rd Annual National Youth Tour.  South Alabama Electric Cooperative congratulates these two awesome students on their accomplishments and their opportunity to participate in one of the most educational experiences of their lifetime.

Brooklyn & Dakarai Brooklyn w FDR wax
Dakarai & Brooklyn statue Dakarai group Smithsonian Dinosaur
Dakarai sitting group Group Capital
Group picture Group US Marine Corps War Memorial
Group with Martha Roby John F Kennedy Eternal Flame
Montgomery YT Group pic  
2017 Montgomery Youth Tour Participants  


Additional informational media below

Alabama students visit Washington DC - Youth Tour

Electric Cooperative Youth Tour from across the nation

For more information contact SAEC at 800-556-2060.