What is the Government-in-Action Youth Tour?
Every June, as many as 1,500 high school students from across the country spend a week in the nation's capital as part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. The students are sponsored by electric cooperatives – cooperatives that are committed to educating America's rural youth about America and the role electric cooperatives play in developing strong rural communities.
Participating in the Youth Tour is an awesome way to learn about this great nation, develop leadership skills, gain a better understanding of electric cooperatives, and make friendships that will last beyond the week!
WYT Competition Rules
Graham County Electric Cooperative, Inc. (GCEC) is proud to be a sponsor of the Washington Youth Tour (WYT) program. Since 1999 GCEC has sent students each year on a week-long, all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. You’ll see places such as the U.S. Capitol, White House, Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, Fort McHenry, Smithsonian Museums, and many other museums and memorials in the D.C area. You’ll have the opportunity to make new friends as you join nearly 1,600 other students all sponsored by electric co-ops from across the country.
This trip is a once in a life time opportunity! GCEC will be taking applications in October 2021 for the 2022 WYT (tentatively scheduled for June 13-19, 2022). Here are the rules for the competition:
- Must be a Junior attending a High School in Graham County.
- Parents(s) or guardian(s) of student recipient must be a current member of Graham County Electric Coop (electric or water service)
- Students must be between 15 and 18 years of age by June 1, 2022.
- Write an essay following the guidelines as described in the next section of this application.
- Finalist will be interviewed by a panel of judges.
Please return the application and essay to Graham County Electric Cooperative, Inc., PO Drawer B, Pima, AZ 85543 before deadline. You may also bring your application and essay to the Co-op Office located at 9 West Center Street in Pima or submit online by completing the information below and submitting your essay below. When submitting your application and essay online, you should see a message that says: "Thank you, your submission has been received." You will also receive a confirmation email. If you do not see the message and/or receive the confirmation email then there may be a problem with your submission. Please contact the office to confirm your submission.
All applications and essays received and winners announced. Look for 2023 application deadline around October 2022.
For more information about WYT, please view the other page links on this site or call Diane Junion, Local Tour Coordinator, at 928-485-2451, extension 8654.
Students will be required to prepare an essay using the following guidelines
- Topic: “TBA"
- Write an essay discussing the above topic. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Use your imagination, be creative, and don’t worry whether yours will be like the other contestants. Everyone will have a different take on this, so just concern yourself with doing your personal best.
- Must be the sole work of the contestant. Credits must be given for research material.
- Contain no less than 350 and no more than 500 words.
- Typed and double-spaced.
- Judging of essays is anonymous. DO NOT write your name on the essay, or identify yourself in any way in the contents. Each essay will be assigned a number when it is received.
Essays will be judged anonymously, using the following criteria
- Knowledge of Subject
- Depth of information, effectiveness of message
- Freshness of thought, responsiveness to topic
- Organization of thoughts, coherence / unity, effective transitions
- Adherence to guidelines, grammatical correctness
- Overall impact of essay
2022 Washington Youth Tour Winners Announced:
Ayla Finch attending Safford High School, loves reading and writing with occasional drawing. She has taught herself to play the guitar. Actively engaged in the high school choir, Ayla is the 2021 Vice-President and the current President of band. Her future interests include becoming an urban planner and working with citizens of the community.
Chris Curtis also attending Safford High School loves to learn and fix things. He enjoys taking machines and electronics apart and examining how the components work. He is the Communications Director for Safford High School's National Honor Society and helps plan fundraisers, service projects and school activities. His goal is the obtain and Electrical Engineering Degree with a focus on energy production systems. Perhaps his future might be with NASA.
Garet Morris attends Pima High School performs in musical theater. He has had opportunities to perform in school, church and other community organizations. He loves playing the trumpet, cornet, ukulele as well as dabbling in piano and guitar. Garet maintains a 4.0 AGPA and takes college classes. His future endeavors include something in the entertainment industry as a performer, singer, actor, or teaching kids in music. He would love to pursue writing his own songs.
Joshua Simmons a Thatcher High School student, has many interests and hobbies. Some include golf, piano, guitar and building computers. Joshua has participated in the Arizona Study Program in piano for several years. Not sure of his future, he has interests in computer science, math or science such as engineering or physics.
Karlee Napier of Ft Thomas High School enjoys volleyball, softball, baking, listening to music and spending time with her family and friends. She is an active member of FFA and FBLA as well as Vice-President of the Athletic Club in Ft. Thomas. Karlee's future aspirations include becoming a real estate agent and working with kids either in a day care setting or teaching.
2021 WASHINGTON YOUTH TOUR CANCELLED:
GCEC partners with Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association (GCSECA) who coordinates the trip for Arizona cooperatives. GCSECA has withdrawn from the NRECA 2021 Youth Tour due to the safety for the students, parents, and communities involved. Arizona is one of a large number of states withdrawing nationwide. GCEC wants to thank those students who applied.
Update for 2020 Washington Youth Tour:
Unfortunately, for the safety of our students and those attending the tour, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has cancelled the tour for 2020. We want to thank our students for all their hard work in getting selected. The GCEC Foundation committee will discuss other considerations for these students.
2020 WYT Students Selected
The following students were selected to attend the 2020 Washington Youth Tour in Washington DC from June 18th to June 25th:
Jake Beals and Kai Nelson - Pima High School
Mazie Hunt and the late Kade Nelson - Thatcher High School
Kendra Fuentes - Ft Thomas High School
Trett Wiltbank - Safford High School
Click here to read the March Currents article about the selection of students.
2019 WYT WINNERS:
The following seven students were recently selected to attend the 2019 Washington Youth Tour in Washington DC from June 13th to June 20th:
Kyler Napier-Ft. Thomas High School
Vivianna Talgo-Ft. Thomas High School
Morgan Miller-Pima High School
Levi Thygerson-Pima High School
Ella Peterson-Safford High School
Grace Haller-Thatcher High School
Katelyn Martin-Thatcher High School
WYT 2018-Camilla Larson:
Camilla Larson was selected to represent Arizona for the Youth Leadership Council for 2018-19. Hear all YLC speeches here (Camilla starts her speech around 33:10). She attended NRECA's Annual Meeting in February 2019. Camilla is a Safford High School graduate. Hear what she says about her trip-
Winners announced for the 2018 Washington Youth Tour
Hayden Ashby from Pima High School is the son of Anetta and Than Ashby. Hayden loves spending time with his family. He has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Hayden helps with many service projects and is involved in sports.
Brock Jones from Thatcher High School is the son of Russ and Dana Jones. He is involved in athletics, singing and playing musical instruments. Brock is interested in learning new things and learning to solve problems.
Camilla Larson from Safford High School is the daughter of Reed and MaryAnn Larson. She loves playing soccer, singing, dancing, public speaking, photography and playing the piano. She is involved in community service and tries to plan and implement positive activities for youth groups.
Trae Nelson from Pima High School is the son of Jace and Melinda Nelson. He is involved in many school activities and enjoys hiking, snowboarding, swimming, reading and participating in triathlons. Trae leads peopke to work harder, to care more, and to be better.