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Feb 4, 2020

You could win a trip to your nation’s capital

You could win a trip to your nation’s capital

ABOVE: The 2019 Arkansas Youth Tour Group Visited Mt. Vernon

Each year, starting in February, Petit Jean Electric Cooperative begins taking applications for the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, which takes place each June. We spread the word through Arkansas Living magazine and in the schools. And best of all, Youth Tour alumni tell their friends about this amazing opportunity. 

Arkansas’ electric cooperatives began sponsoring the tour in 1990. Since then, hundreds of young Arkansans have gone on this trip and been inspired by the sites they see. 

They learn about the sacrifices others have made and what it truly means to be an American. They walk on the grounds where George Washington walked. They walk the halls of the U.S. Capitol where the nation’s laws are crafted. They make new friends and dream new dreams.

Many students believe it will be too hard to win this trip, or that it will take too much effort to write an essay or sit for an interview. Some are encouraged to apply by their teachers while others learn about it from their parents or grandparents who see the promotion in this magazine. Many say they almost didn’t try. But ask any past Youth Tour winner and they will inevitably say they are glad they did. It truly is a trip of a lifetime.

During the tour, the group visits historic sites such as Mount Vernon, the World War II Memorial, the U.S. Capitol, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the various museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and Arlington National Cemetery, among other sites.

The Arkansas group also meets students from 44 other states who are visiting Washington as part of the tour. Electric cooperatives from these states sponsor students just as we do. In addition, one student will be selected from each state to serve on the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), which represents electric cooperatives across the nation and coordinates the Youth Tour.

By sponsoring the Youth Tour, Petit Jean Electric Cooperative is providing opportunities to help our youth grow and learn. By doing this, we are working to fulfill one of the “Seven Cooperative Principles” that guide our member-owned business — commitment to community. Just as we help build the state by providing affordable and reliable energy, we are working to help build leaders for tomorrow. And we believe that is a very good commitment and investment to make.

LEFT: 2019 Youth Tour delegates visit the U.S. Holocaust Museum. RIGHT: The Smithsonian Natural History Museum remains a popular Youth Tour destination. 

A trip of a lifetime

The 2020 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour
An all-expense-paid tour of the nation’s capital awaits 44 high school juniors from Arkansas this summer.

If you apply for the 2020 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, you might be chosen for the week-long trip to Washington, D.C. The trip, which is sponsored by the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, includes tours of major sites in Washington, such as the U.S. Capitol, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution and the Jefferson, Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Vietnam, Korean and World War II memorials.

This spring, Petit Jean Electric Cooperative will select three high school juniors to attend the 2020 tour, which is set for June 19-25. The winners will be selected through an interview process. Applicants must be high school juniors and their parents/guardians must be members of Petit Jean Electric Cooperative.

The Arkansas group will travel to Washington and return to Little Rock by air. Once in Washington, the students will join about 1,700 students from across the nation who are attending the tour thanks to their local electric co-ops.

Why do we do this? The answer is simple. Petit Jean Electric Cooperative is committed to its members and to the communities it serves. Through the Youth Tour, we are helping Arkansas’ youth learn more about the workings of their nation’s government and the electric cooperatives, as well as develop leadership skills. 

For more information, contact Terry Drew ( or Tonia Robbins ( at Petit Jean Electric Cooperative, 501-745-2493.

The deadline for entries is April 3, 2020.

Don’t miss out on this incredible, life-changing opportunity.

It’s a trip of a lifetime!


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