Missouri Electric Co-Op Youth Program means education and fun

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kaitelyn Resz, left, of Washburn, and Leanna Duchene, of Wheaton, were among the 103 high school students from across Missouri who participated in the Missouri Electric Cooperative CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) program. Contributed photo

Kaitelyn Resz, of Washburn, and Leanna Duchene, of Wheaton, were among the 103 high school students from across Missouri who participated in the Missouri Electric Cooperative CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) program.

The conference was held July 17-19 in Jefferson City. They were sponsored by Barry Electric Cooperative. Also selected and sponsored by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives was Joanna Suarez, daughter of Barry Electric employee Maria Suarez, of Cassville. Joanna participated through a separate contest offered to the children of cooperative employees.

Each year in July, an action-filled three days provides high school students opportunities to learn first-hand what it is like to be involved in politics, the cooperative form of business and being a leader. The program included nationally known speakers and time at the Missouri State Capitol learning how a bill goes through the process to become a law.

Joanna Suarez, left, daughter of Barry Electric employee Maria Suarez, of Cassville, also attended the CYCLE event. Contributed photo

To learn more about electric cooperatives, the group was divided up into teams that competed in various events like the “build a cooperative” game. Another highlight was hearing from the Rachel’s Challenge Organization. Rachel’s family and friends speak to youth around the world about Rachel’s legacy of being a positive role model to everyone she met in life.

Students also toured the Winston Churchill Museum in Fulton and saw a live powerline demonstration at Callaway Electric Cooperative.

The CYCLE program is in its 16th year and is a recipient of the National Community Youth Service award for the top youth program among all electric cooperatives in the country.

For more information about AMEC youth programs, contact coordinator Chris Massman at cmassman@amec.org or go to www.amec.org/content/youth-programs