Youth Tour

2021 - Scholarships to be awarded this year

It is time once again for the Alabama Rural Electric Cooperative Montgomery Youth Tour.  However, due to the numerous issues related to COVID-19 we have had to cancel the 2021 event to Montgomery and Washington, D.C.  South Alabama Electric Cooperative still wants to help our students learn more about electric cooperatives and to help further their education by awarding scholarships.  This year SAEC will provide eight $1,000 scholarships and two $3,000 scholarships to juniors through the normal application/selection process of the Youth Tour program.  Scholarships will be awarded to each winner and applied to the college or trade school of their choice upon their high school graduation in 2022. Applications are now available for juniors to complete.  South Alabama Electric Cooperative opens this opportunity up to juniors for all the surrounding schools within our service area.  Students will need to complete the 2021 Youth Tour application and submit a 300 to 500-word essay explaining who has been most influential in their life and why. Once all applications are received there will be an interview process in February depending on the situation with COVID-19. All applications must be submitted to the office of South Alabama Electric Cooperative located on U. S. Highway 231 by closing on Friday, February 12th.

Download PDF Brochure

Youth Tour 2021 Application

WHAT IS THE 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.

MONTGOMERY YOUTH TOUR

The 2020 Montgomery Youth Tour is March 10-12. 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.

 View a video about Montgomery Youth Tour.

WASHINGTON YOUTH TOUR

The 2020 Washington Youth Tour is June 19-25, 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.

2020 Montgomery Youth Tour Winners

From left to right: Front row: Brook Watson, Chloe Meadows, Addi Garrett, Halee Deal - Back Row: Will Snyder, Abigail Brooks, Olivia Barron, Joseph Riley, Nathan Braisted, Stetson Adcock 

From left to right:  Brooks Watson, Stetson Adcock, Jospeh Riley, Nathan Braisted, Representative Chris Sells, Chloe Meadows, Will Snyder,Abigail Brooks, Addi Garrett, Halee Deal, Olivia Barron

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.

MONTGOMERY YOUTH TOUR

Ten students will be selected to attend the Montgomery Youth Tour on March 10-12. 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. 

WASHINGTON YOUTH TOUR

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.


Check out previous year winners

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.