EnerStar Electric Cooperative student selected as Illinois Youth Leadership Council representative
For more than 50 years, teens from rural America have been going to Washington, D.C. on the “trip of a lifetime,” courtesy of their local sponsoring electric cooperative, the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC) and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Over the years, these delegates have toured some of the finest museums in the world and visited America’s most historic monuments. They have met with their elected officials, explored Capitol Hill and learned about the impact electric cooperatives have on their communities. Each year, roughly 2,000 delegates and staff make an impact on D.C.
During Youth Tour, delegates have the chance to be selected to represent their home state on the NRECA Youth Leadership Council (YLC). Members of the YLC play an important role during NRECA’s Annual Meeting the following spring. Not only are the YLC members recognized on stage, they have hands-on experience with virtually every facet of the meeting including the resolutions process and helping members communicate with their legislators. Youth Leadership Council members leave more poised, confident and a better developed leader with a strong determination to improve their community and make their country a better place. Further, they leave having built life-long friendships with other student leaders from across the country.
Due to the cancellation of Youth Tour 2020, the YLC has been selected from delegates who went on the 2019 Youth to Washington Tour. The AIEC chose Jerad Lawson of Paris, to represent Illinois as the 2020-2021 YLC. His trip was sponsored by EnerStar Electric Cooperative. Jerad will travel to Washington, D.C. in November for a leadership conference, focusing on the electric cooperative industry. During this conference, the YLC National Spokesperson will be selected to address the membership at the NRECA Annual Meeting and to address the Youth Tour delegates the following year.
Jerad is a 2020 graduate of Lawson Christian Academy and will begin his college career at Ivy Tech Community College in the fall, exploring potential career paths.
“While saddened at the cancellation of the 2020 Youth to Washington Tour, we are looking forward to next year,” said EnerStar’s Angela Griffin. “The Youth Tour teaches the youth of our rural communities about the electric cooperative form of business, impact on their local communities, and the seven Cooperative Principles.” Griffin added that applications for next year’s tour will be available in October.