Local youth tour nation’s capitol
Ninety-one high school juniors from Missouri participated in the 50th anniversary of National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., June 13-19. Local delegates included O’Fallon residents Alison Boehmer and Elizabeth Citrowske.
The seven-day tour provided an action-filled week for high school students, offering them opportunities to learn first-hand what it is like to be involved in politics and community service and to address some of today’s pressing issues.
“It was an incredible experience,” said Citrowske. “It was a great combination of food, friends and touring. I never really knew how much D.C. had to offer. I learned so much and now have a greater appreciation for my country.”
Highlights included a special session on Capitol Hill with U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer.
“The Youth Tour students from Missouri demonstrated a true passion for learning about democracy and government. They asked some really tough questions on everything from education-related bills and health care to climate change legislation. It’s great to see high school students eager to learn and gain leadership skills. Building strong leaders out of today’s young people is essential to our nation’s future,” Luetkemeyer said.
Citroske said getting to meet Luetkemeyer was amazing.
Additonally, Youth Tour delegates visited with congressmen from their respective districts, toured famous monuments and museums, and enjoyed other tourist attractions.
“The newseum was probably my favorite,” Citroske said. “I really wish we’d had more time there. We only had about an hour, and there were five floors. I only had time to explore two of them. My favorite memorial was the Arlington Cemetery.”
Since 1964, CREC has sponsored 198 Youth Tour delegates for visits to their U.S. congressional delegations, energy and grassroots government education sessions, and sightseeing in Washington, D.C. More than 53,000 high school juniors and seniors sponsored by the nation’s electric cooperatives have participated in the Youth Tour since the educational leadership program began.