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Rural Electric Youth Tour

Karli Gotshall of Dubberly and Evangeline Brasher of Homer have been selected to represent Claiborne Electric in the all-expenses-paid 2019 Rural Electric Youth Tour Program.


In June, Gotshall and Brasher will travel to Washington, D.C., where they will join more than 1,500 students from nearly 40 states for the Rural Electric Youth Tour.


To prepare for their summer journey, the students will participate in a youth leadership summit this spring in Baton Rouge, where they will meet their touring companions from other Louisiana electric cooperatives. They will also take part in leadership training exercises and participate in educational sessions. The group of Louisiana delegates will travel together to Washington for the Youth Tour program.


The Youth Tour calls for visits to many of Washington’s most well-known sites, including the Smithsonian Museum complex, Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the World War II Memorial, Lincoln Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Memorial, the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court Building, and the Library of Congress. While in Washington, D.C., the Louisiana representatives will learn more about electric cooperatives, attend social functions, and receive leadership training.


The Washington Youth Tour was inspired in 1957 by Senator and future President Lyndon B. Johnson. During his address to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) that year, he urged attendees to send young people to the nation’s capital so they could see first-hand how the government works. The following summer, cooperatives did just that, and what was first known as the Rural Electric Youth Tour was born.

In 1959, 130 youths attended the tour. NRECA began to coordinate joint activities among the states in 1964. Today, more than 1,500 students attend the conference each year and more than 45,000 students have participated in the tour.


 “This is an outstanding program and an excellent opportunity for the students to have a wonderful experience they’ll remember forever,” said Claiborne Electric General Manager Mark Brown.

Gotshall attends Lakeside High School, and Brasher attends Claiborne Academy. Claiborne Electric’s Rural Electric Youth Tour contest was open to any student who lives in a home or attends a school which receives power from Claiborne Electric. To enter, students submitted a letter to an elected official about a topic important to them.

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