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Youth Tour: Students can be part of something powerful

Tennis shoes. Check. Bottled Water. Check. Eagerness to learn and lead. Check, check. If you're a high school sophomore or junior looking for the trip of a lifetime, then the Rural Electric Youth Tour is the trip for you!

Imagine: a change to visit Washington, D.C., for one week, with about 40 students from Ohio. You'll have the opportunity to visit Ohio's congressional delegation. You'll see many of the famous sights of the nation's capital. And the best part? It won't cost you a penny.

Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative shares a strong commitment to the communities and the member-consumers it serves, and sponsoring students for this exciting trip is just one of the ways it invests in the region's future leaders.

The weeklong Youth Tour of the nation's capital is jam-packed with sightseeing, and history comes to life. While touring, students will visit many of the major monuments and memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument.

Students will also visit Capital Hill, where they will meet with Ohio's congressional delegation. Many past participants were so inspired by this experience that they later served as interns on the Hill. and many have pursued a career in politics.

But Youth Tour is much more than sightseeing. Students spend every waking minute together for a solid week, and it's not uncommon for lasting friendships to form. In fact, many Youth Tour alumni ended up as college roommates, professional colleagues, life-long friends, even spouses. Youth Tour inspires many students to discover who they want to be.

"Ohio's electric cooperatives have participated in the Rural Electric Youth Tour program for 35 years now," said Adam Specht, who coordinated the trip on the statewide level as the communications specialist for Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc., the trade association for LMRE. " Each year, we take about 40 students, and to see their reactions to each new place is an experience in itself. Not only do they get to see commemorations to many of the  most important moments in U.S. history, it's also a great opportunity to make lasting connections."

The 2015 Rural Electric Youth Tour will take place June 12-18 in Washington, D.C.

In addition to Ohio, 42 states send students to D.C. for Youth Tour, and several activities are coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). On Monday, June 15, the entire group of about 1,600 students will gather for Youth Day, where they will hear from inspiring guest speakers, including Mike Schlappi. A Paralympic Gold Medalist, Schlappi shares his emotional story and challenges students to take responsibility and be empowered through life's challenges.

In addition to Youth Day, the entire group will attend an all-state dinner and dance on a boat cruise down the Potomac River. Be part of something powerful. Learn more about the Rural Electric Youth Tour by contacting Lorain-Medina Rural Electric at 1-800-222-LMRE or 440-647-2133 or visit the Youth Tour web page.

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