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Thirty-eight high school students representing Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives traveled to Washington, D.C., from June 14-20 and joined more than 1,900 other students from across the nation for the 2019 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.

Participants met their U.S. representatives and senators, started and ran their own cooperative, met student leaders from nearly every state and watched history come alive as they explored museums, memorials, monuments and other sites. Best of all, the students made friendships that will last a lifetime.

Sabrina Leistikow, an incoming senior for the 2019-2020 school year, was the winner of the Living with Energy in Iowa 2019 Youth Tour Contest. Her winning essay earned her a spot on this year’s Youth Tour. She’s the daughter of Kurt and Jenifer Leistikow, and her family is a member of Butler County REC.

“Seeing all of these monuments makes me realize how much impact I can have on the world as an ordinary person. George Washington was an ordinary man until he decided to lead America victories against the British. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an ordinary man until he spoke up for blacks’ rights and impacted their lives,” Sabrina says. “All these people were unheard of and ordinary until they decided to step up and make a difference. So just imagine what I or you can do in this world if you only have the courage to take a stand. This realization would not have been possible without the opportunity of the Youth Tour!”

Leadership delegate chosen

Sarah Herz from Chariton Valley Electric Cooperative was selected to serve as Iowa’s Youth Leadership Council delegate during the Youth Tour. She will travel back to Washington, D.C., this month for leadership training. She also will speak at the annual meeting of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives in December and attend the annual meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in New Orleans next year.

Herz, a recent graduate from Albia Community High School, is the daughter of Kevin and Janet Herz of Lovilla. While in high school she was involved in many activities, including volleyball, tennis, cross country, student council, National Honor Society and Blue Pride Buddies. Outside of school, she was involved with her church youth group and Iowa Honey Producers Association.

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Thank you to the following electric cooperatives for sponsoring these students!


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