Local students head to D.C., Jefferson City

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Barry Electric contests fund trips for SWHS, EHS students

This summer is gearing up to be a life-changing one for Southwest R-5 juniors Kallie Bowman and Chase Logan, as the pair will be visiting Washington, D.C., for the first time, and free of charge.

Thanks to the Youth Tour essay contest, sponsored by Barry Electric Cooperative, Bowman and Logan received an all-expense paid trip to D.C. from June 13-19, and each of the students is beyond excited.

"I was really shocked I had won," Bowman said. "I was super happy, and I cried."

Logan said he could not believe he had won the trip, as he had never won such a contest before.

The pair will fly to D.C. together and visit a number of national historic sites and landmarks, such as the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, Ford's Theatre, the National Cathedral and the WWII, Korean and Vietnam War Memorials, among other historic sites.

Bowman and Logan said they are both excited to travel so far, as Bowman has only been as far from home as Texas, and the farthest Logan has traveled is to Kentucky.

"It should be a really good time," Bowman said. "I want to see all the history, like the Smithsonian and the WWII Monument."

Logan said he is excited to see something a little more specific.

"I want to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," he said. "That's something I've wanted to see my whole life."

Bowman and Logan each won the contest through Barry Electric by writing an essay based on the prompt, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"

Logan wrote about how he hopes to join the Coast Guard to get experience on the seas, then go to Alaska and get a masters in marine biology.

Bowman said her essay detailed how she hopes to be a history teacher and coach, all while raising a family and living in northwest Arkansas.

Bowman and Logan each said the experience will be something they hope to share with fellow Southwest students upon their return.

"We will definitely come back and share about this with our classmates," Logan said. "And, if they don't believe us, there will be plenty of pictures."

Bowman also said the trip provides the opportunity to represent Washburn on a national level.

"It will be pretty good, and we'll get to show people we're not all just a bunch of hillbillies and rednecks," she said.

Logan said he is also proud to get to attend, as his mother's cosign is an employee at the pentagon and teases him about needing to see the sights.

"He always talks about how great D.C. is, and I was getting tired of it," he said. "So, I was happy to call him and tell him I won a trip to go see D.C."

Bowman and Logan are not the only two local students who will get to travel this summer, as a pair of Exeter students, juniors Lydia Alverson and Chris Smith, won an all-expense paid trip to Jefferson city to see the Missouri State Capitol.

Alverson and Smith were named winners in the Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience essay contest, also writing about where they see themselves in a decade.

"I wrote about how I want to become a lawyer because that's something my family has been interested in, and I love doing debate here and it seems like something I'd be good at," Smith said.

Alverson said her essay discussed a number of possibilities in her future, including things like becoming a professional singer or being a pediatric nurse.

Both Smith and Alverson have each been to Jefferson City in the past, but they said that will not take away from the excitement of going this summer.

According to Kerry Mattingly, coordinator of the contests at Barry Electric, 14 essays were submitted for the CYCLE contest, and only Southwest and Exeter students participated.

It is Barry Electric's fourth year taking part in the program, which is sponsored by rural electric cooperatives across the state.

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