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Iowa’s local electric cooperatives are just getting started on their selection process for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors from their areas to earn an all-expenses-paid trip for the June 17-23 Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, there always are more qualified student candidates from these co-ops (as well as deserving students from co-ops that aren’t participating in the Youth Tour program) than there are openings on the trip. However, one of those students, for the ninth year in a row, will have the opportunity to win a trip through the Iowa Electric Cooperative Living 2023 Youth Tour Contest!

Of course, students at participating co-ops first should apply for the Youth Tour through their electric co-ops. However, students can increase their chances of winning a trip by entering the magazine’s contest right after they enter the one for their electric co-op.

More than 1,800 students from across America take part in the weeklong educational trip to the nation’s capital. Participants will travel to Washington, D.C., meet their U.S. representatives and senators, and watch history come alive as they explore museums, memorials and monuments. They’ll also meet student leaders from nearly every state and hear dynamic speakers during Youth Day. Best of all, students will make friendships that last a lifetime and become part of a group that has more than 50,000 alumni in every walk of life, including U.S. senators and CEOs.

Some of the things students will do and see on Youth Tour:

  •     Albert Einstein Memorial
  •     Arlington National Cemetery
  •     Boat cruise on the Potomac River
  •     Ford’s Theater
  •     Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  •     Holocaust Memorial
  •     Iwo Jima Sunset Parade
  •     Korean War Veterans Memorial
  •     Lincoln Memorial
  •     Mount Vernon
  •     The National Mall
  •     U.S. Capitol tour
  •     Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  •     Washington Monument
  •     Washington National Cathedral
  •     White House
  •     World War I Memorial
  •     World War II Memorial
These electric cooperatives are sponsoring the 2023 Youth Tour

All of the electric co-ops on this list are offering one or more all-expenses-paid Youth Tour trips this year, so check your local co-op’s website or call the local co-op office for more details.

  • Access Energy Cooperative
  • Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative
  • Butler County REC
  • Calhoun County Electric Cooperative Assoc.
  • Chariton Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc.
  • Clarke Electric Cooperative, Inc.
  • Consumers Energy
  • East-Central Iowa REC                         
  • Eastern Iowa Light and Power Cooperative
  • Farmers Electric Cooperative (Greenfield)
  • Franklin REC
  • Grundy County REC
  • Harrison County REC
  • Heartland Power Cooperative
  • Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
  • Lyon REC
  • Midland Power Cooperative
  • MiEnergy Cooperative
  • Nishnabotna Valley REC
  • North West REC
  • Pella Cooperative Electric Association
  • Prairie Energy Cooperative
  • Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative
  • Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative, Inc.
  • Southwest Iowa REC
  • T.I.P. REC
  • United Electric Cooperative

To enter, you will be required to submit an official entry form plus a short (250-word maximum) essay in response to this statement:

Tell us about an issue that impacts the quality of life in your community.

Entry forms are available at You can submit your essay at this website or email it to Entries must be received by March 25.

Official Contest Rules

Our 2023 Youth Tour Essay Contest is open to any Iowa high school sophomore, junior or senior whose family is served by an Iowa electric cooperative AND to any Iowa high school sophomore, junior or senior who attended all three virtual sessions of the Iowa Youth Leadership Academy in Oct. 2022. Iowa Electric Cooperative Living magazine will award one all-expenses-paid Youth Tour trip to Washington, D.C., in addition to the Youth Tour trips sponsored by local electric cooperatives. Students at participating co-ops first should apply for the Youth Tour through their electric co-ops. Then, to enhance your chances of earning a trip, we encourage you to enter this contest too. If you’re chosen as the winner of a trip sponsored by your local electric cooperative, you’ll become ineligible to win the trip sponsored by Iowa Electric Cooperative Living magazine.

Iowa Electric Cooperative Living magazine and IAEC staff will judge all essays anonymously. The decision of the judges will be final. The winner of the Iowa Electric Cooperative Living Youth Tour Contest will be announced on April 4, which is after all sponsoring local electric cooperatives will have chosen their 2023 Youth Tour participants.

One Iowa Youth Tour student will receive a $1,000 college scholarship!

During the 2023 Youth Tour this June, a student from each state that participates in Youth Tour will be chosen to serve on the national Youth Leadership Council (YLC). The Iowa YLC representative will be selected during the Youth Tour trip and will receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

These young leaders will meet virtually throughout 2023 and participate in leadership training, practice their public speaking skills, attend co-op forums and engage in community activities like voter registration drives.

The Youth Leadership Council experience will culminate at the 2024 NRECA Annual Meeting, held in San Antonio, Texas. Here, the group will spend a few days reflecting on the experiences they’ve had throughout the year, attend informational and entertaining conference sessions alongside electric cooperative leaders from throughout the country, and solidify lifelong friendships and connections!

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