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Youth Tour

Two Area High School Students Will Win Trip to Nation’s Capital June 6-15, 2018

In the late 1950s, Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, a Texas native who would become the 36th president of the United States, inspired a youth leadership program sponsored by electric cooperatives.

As part of their effort to improve members’ lives,  Johnson called on electric cooperatives to send youths to Washington, D.C., to “actually see what the flag stands for and represents.” Out of his remarks was born the Government-in Action Youth Tour, which is still going strong after more than 50 years. In that time, about 50,000 students having participated nationwide.

United is proud to help  fulfill Johnson’s vision by sponsoring two high school students from its service area to participate in the Government-in-Action Youth Tour 2018, a week-long, guided trip of a lifetime from June 6-15 in Austin, Texas, as well as Washington, D.C. They will join more than 100 other Texas high school students comprising the Texas delegation.

The Youth Tour Contest gives students a chance to learn about our flag, our country and the importance of democracy as well as the important role that electric cooperatives play in the lives of those they serve. While on tour, students  will visit monuments, government buildings and cooperative-related organizations in order to become familiar with the historical and political environment of their nation’s capital. Also, they'll get an opportunity to meet elected officials in order to better understand how their federal government works.

Youth Tour  was built on the belief that textbooks and lectures alone are not enough to help young people understand the democratic process and gain the skills necessary to become tomorrow’s leaders. But most of all, it was built on fun!






Youth Tour Contest Rules

This contest is open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who attend a high school or are home-schooled full-time in United’s service area. The applicant is not required to be a member of United Cooperative Services. Winners of any past Youth Tour are not eligible to enter and immediate family members of United employees or directors are not eligible to enter.

Each contestant must complete and submit an application and original submission.

Online applications and original submissions, along with two letters of reference (one of which must come from a current teacher, principal or counselor) are due by Feb. 12, 2018.

The original submission must be submitted via e-mail at The original submission will consist of either a one- to two-page original essay or PowerPoint presentation of no fewer than 10 slides on your chosen topic of the three listed below. All submissions become the property of United.

  1. Less than 100 years ago, most people living in rural America did not have electricity in their homes.  In your opinion, what are the major benefits of electricity and belonging to an electric cooperative?
  2. In today’s world, managing energy use has become vital for a number of reasons, including climate change, energy independence and for reducing the costs people incur each month in using this vital commodity. Share why managing energy use—using electricity wisely and energy conservation—are important now and in the future.
  3. All cooperative businesses adhere to seven guiding principles (as listed on United’s website) and United in particular shows a great dedication to educating the youth in our local communities. Please explain why you think these cooperative values are important.


The top applicants will be notified by Feb. 14, 2018. These applicants will be required to submit a parental release form, which must be mailed directly to United. United’s two winners will be selected by an internal panel of judges on or before Feb. 22, 2018. Winners will be required to submit additional information online by Feb. 28, 2018. Email the documents to or mail the documents to: United Cooperative Services; Attn: Jeff Pannell; P.O. Box 16; Cleburne, TX, 76033.


United’s Involvement

The trip includes airfare, transportation, lodging, meals, insurance and admission charges associated with the tour. The participants will be responsible for any additional spending money for snacks, souvenirs, etc. United’s two winners will join approximately 140 students from across Texas. When the students arrive in Washington, they will join roughly 1,500 students from across the nation.


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