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Local Students Build Powerful Bonds on Youth Tour

1 August 2018 Community


Rising high school seniors have read plenty about how their government works and how elected officials do their jobs. But there’s nothing quite like seeing something up close to bring a lesson home. Eight students in Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s service territory had that opportunity, when they joined more than 1,800 students from electric cooperatives across the country for this year’s Youth Tour. The students spent a week in Washington to learn about cooperatives, government and community.

Sponsored by REC and lead by REC employees, participants toured the Capitol, visited Congressional offices, and met members of Congress. Students also traveled to monuments and memorials throughout the Washington area.

“It’s so great our cooperative wants to invest in us and really teach us to learn about our community, this country and also what cooperatives do in our community and why they are here to help us,” said REC Youth Tour student Jeremy Petrie. “We went to so many great places, met so many people and I know I’ve made some lifelong friends.”

REC’s students explored key issues in the electric industry, studied the cooperative business model, interacted with students in team- and leadership-building programs and toured historical and cultural sites.

“Not only did we get to spend days in our nation’s Capital, but we learned about enhancing our community as well because education is extremely important.” said Nada Ismael. “Youth Tour is a way to get a hands-on experience with politics, government or even just getting to know new people.”

2018 REC Youth Tour Delegates

  • Natalie Heiser – Culpeper County High School – Culpeper County
  • Nada Ismael – Liberty High School – Fauquier County
  • Jeremy Petrie – Sherando High SchoolFrederick County
  • Nathan Richardson – Massaponax High School – Spotsylvania County
  • Abigail Varricchio – Millbrook High School – Frederick County
  • Ainslie Whitmarsh – William Monroe High School – Greene County
  • Karrington Wilson – Patrick Henry High School – Hanover County
  • Kennedi Wilson – Patrick Henry High School – Hanover County

Youth Tour was inspired by Sen. Lyndon Baines Johnson when he addressed the NRECA Annual Meeting in 1957.  The senator and future president 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.”

View REC’s 2018 Youth Tour video by visiting www.myrec.coop/youthtour.

REC provides electric service to over 167,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 17,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For more information about REC, please visit www.myrec.coop. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

REC Youth Tour Group 2018

Students Tour DC
Students from REC’s service territory visited Washington D.C. as part of the 2018 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Front row left to right: Karrington Wilson, Nada Ismael, Abigail Varricchio, Kennedi Wilson and Ainslie Whitmarsh. Back row left to right: Nathan Richardson, Jeremy Petrie and Natalie Heiser

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock

Students meet Congresswoman: Youth Tour students met with Congresswoman Barbara Comstock during the 2018 Youth Tour. Left to right: Nathan Richardson, Jeremy Petrie, Abigail Varricchio, Karrington Wilson, Kennedi Wilson, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Nada Ismael, Natalie Heiser and Ainslie Whitmarsh

Congressman Rob Wittman

Students meet Congressman: REC’s students met with Congressman Rob Wittman during the 2018 Youth Tour


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