More than 100 high school students from across Missouri participated in the Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience (CYCLE) program held July 9-11 in Jefferson City. Local delegates sponsored by Cuivre River Electric Cooperative (CREC) included Hannah Baalman, Dardenne Prairie; Sofia Ezeamii, Lake Saint Louis; Allison Foster, Weldon Spring; Alexa Jones, O’Fallon; and Madison Jones, O’Fallon.
The CYCLE program is conducted by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) and is a recipient of the National Community Youth Service award presented by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association for the top youth program among all electric cooperatives in the country. Since 2004, AMEC has hosted more than 800 high school sophomore and junior students from Missouri’s 47 electric distribution and transmission cooperatives.
“These students are an example of the many talented people who live in Missouri. I am pleased that these students are aware of the importance of staying active, involved in community projects and leaders in their respective high schools,” said U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer. “I’m extremely proud of each of the students, and I’m glad they had an opportunity to visit the Missouri State Capitol to expand their knowledge and develop as future leaders.”
The three-day program provided an action-filled experience for the students, offering them opportunities to learn firsthand about politics, community service, today’s pressing issues, how business cooperatives work and being a leader. Highlights included a special educational session in the House Chamber at the Missouri State Capitol to discuss the process of local, state and national government.
“By engaging youth through the CYCLE program, electric cooperatives are helping to teach important skills to new generations of young citizens who will help our communities and nation grow,” said CREC Communication Specialist Lonnie Tucker. “Cuivre River has sponsored and provided more than 50 local high school students with a continued focus on youth leadership and educational opportunities at CYCLE since the program began in 2004.”