Tonganoxie High students represent FreeState at DC event
Electric Cooperative Youth Tour is an opportunity to take part in a program that promotes life skills that today’s generation value, including building relationships, developing leadership skills and preparing them for their futures.
FreeState Electric Cooperative sent two delegates from Tonganoxie High School to the national event.
Seniors-to-be Jake Edholm and Payton Lynn attended the 59th Annual Electric Cooperative Youth Tour June 13-20 in Washington, D.C., with more than 1,800 peers from across the nation.
Delegates toured the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Smithsonian museums, Mt. Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Cathedral among other memorials and historical sites. They saw the pandas at the National Zoo, participated in a simulation at the National Law Enforcement Museum, took in a Nationals baseball game and a show at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Lynn spoke about the trip and how it was an eye-opening experience.
“Every single person on this trip has been an inspiration to me,” Lynn said. “Meeting so many people from different backgrounds has shown me that I have grown more than I ever thought I could in just one short week. My peers have pushed me to think about issues in a completely different way.”
Edholm also talked about how the event affected him, including an opportunity to meet a Congress member.
“Sen. Pat Roberts was a strong source of inspiration,” Edholm said. “Talking to him about co-ops and Kansas issues was enlightening as well as rewarding. It is also pretty inspiring knowing I’m part of the best co-op in the State of Kansas.”
As part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s National Youth Day on June 17, all state groups heard keynote speaker Mike Schlappi, a four-time Paralympic Medalist and two-time world wheelchair basketball champion.