In June, more than 1,500 teenagers from across America will descend on Washington, D.C., for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Sponsored by electric cooperatives nationwide, Youth Tour is the opportunity of a lifetime for many teenagers. Essay contest winners receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington. Bismarck High School Sophomore Tyler Harper will represent Capital Electric Cooperative (CEC) on this year’s trip.
This year’s essay contest required students to answer this question, “If you were asked to help promote your cooperative’s annual membership meeting, what ideas would you have for increasing attendance among young member-owners and students?” In his essay, Harper suggested co-ops focus on community involvement and social media.
“Education, information and attention are all important for increased attendance and a means for each is the proper way to involve today’s youth,” wrote Harper. “Young people are entranced by media, so provide information through apps and television.
Local community events, schools and sporting events are attended by many young people and provide an opportunity to not only inform but also show how the cooperative cares about the community and the future generation.”
While in Washington, Harper will have the opportunity to visit with elected officials and learn about the cooperative business model and our nation’s rich history.
“I want to know more about what happens in the everyday life of a congressman. On an average day, what do our elected representatives do? What problems are they addressing?” Harper says.
Harper lives in Bismarck with his parents, Bob and Karalee Harper, and his brother, Travis. The family has two dogs, Opal and Mocha. He is active in jazz choir, science bowl and congressional debate. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and reading. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a degree in biochemistry or organic chemistry.
CEC congratulates Harper for writing an insightful essay and earning the opportunity to attend Youth Tour. We’ll follow up with him when he returns from Washington and share the highlights of his experience.