Students Meet Virtually for 2021 Youth Tour - Carolina Country

Students Meet Virtually for 2021 Youth Tour

Sessions include meetings with NC Congressional delegates

Students Meet Virtually for 2021 Youth Tour

Tom Butler, owner of Butler Farms, provided Youth Tourists with a virtual tour of his hog farm and its microgrid.

For more than 50 years, high school students representing North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have traveled to Washington, D.C., on the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Last year, the event was canceled due to the global pandemic, but this summer the Youth Tour came back as an expanded virtual program.

“When we moved this year’s Youth Tour to a virtual format due to COVID-19 concerns, we wanted to make sure we delivered an interactive experience where these talented students could learn and interact with one another,” said Paul Mott, Youth Tour coordinator and grassroots specialist for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “Upon meeting the students on the first day of Youth Tour, we knew we had a special group. These students were just as eager to connect with their peers and learn about co-ops, our government, and important life skills as any other group we’ve had in person.”

Over six days in June, students signed on to 16 virtual sessions that covered topics including the cooperative principles, money management, and a virtual tour of a Harnett County microgrid that is a partnership between Butler Farms, South River EMC, and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.

Virtual Meetin

(Left to right) Representative David Rouzer (R-7) and Representative Alma Adams (D-12) met virtually in separate meetings with Youth Tourists.

Youth Tour participants also met with their members of Congress, who discussed how government works and offered career advice to the rising high school seniors.

“Throughout the week, students displayed their intelligence and maturity with the questions they asked of their members of Congress, other speakers, and each other,” Mott said. “These students have a bright future ahead of them, and we can’t wait to see what they will accomplish.”

Sydney Loflin

Youth Leadership Council

Sydney Loflin, a 2021 youth tour participant sponsored by EnergyUnited, was selected by her fellow Youth Tourists as North Carolina’s Youth Leadership Council (YLC) winner. As this year’s YLC representative, Sydney will attend the 2022 Annual Meeting of North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives in Raleigh. She is dual enrolled in HOPE Academy and Davidson County Community College.

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