REC's youth program winners

REC's youth program winners

Rural Electric Cooperative recently awarded and recognized 24 area students with trips and scholarships. Ten high school seniors shared $11,000 in scholarships assisting with their college expenses. Six high school juniors received all-expense paid trips this summer- three won trips to Washington D.C. for Youth Tour and three won trips to Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. While eight eighth graders won a trip to Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperative’s YouthPower Energy Camp at Canyon Camp near Hinton, Oklahoma. 

Both the Youth Tour and Energy Camp competitions were open to REC’s membership and all students attending a school within REC’s service area. Whereas, only high school seniors whose parents or legal guardians are members of REC were eligible to apply for the ten scholarships available.

To compete in the scholarship contest, students were required to complete an application, and from all applicants, a committee of REC’s Board selected 10 finalists to interview. All finalist were selected as winners. Two students received $1,500 scholarships and eight received $1,000 each. Winners of the $1,500 scholarships were Briar Conner of Liberty Hill Academy and John-Michael Balcerak of Pauls Valley. Scholarships of $1,000 each went to: Carson Mainka of Alex, Blake White of Chickasha, Elizabeth Baker of Dibble, Seth McCaa from Elmore City-Pernell, Elijah Salie of Lindsay, Gracie Coates of Pauls Valley, Hunter Askew of Purcell and Brayden Douthit of Rush Springs. 

High school juniors competing in the Youth Tour contest wrote an essay as the first step of the competition. Judges selected the top six essays as finalists. The finalists competed in a speech contest to determine the trip winners. Judges selected Wesley Saltsman of Bray-Doyle, Karsten Hutcheson and Kourtney Smith of Lindsay as winners for Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. These students will travel to Washington, D.C. with approximately 70 other juniors from across Oklahoma to tour our nation’s capitol.

The three runners-up won a trip near Steamboat Springs, Colorado for the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp hosted by the Colorado Electric Cooperatives. Local winners will join students from Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming for the week-long camp. REC’s winners include Destiny Bray, Ray Rowell and Tori Shinton of Lindsay.

REC’s winners to YouthPower Energy Camp were selected from a large group of essays submitted by eighth graders from several area schools. The group will attend the camp with 80 other eighth graders across Oklahoma. Winners include: Gracie Selzer of Alex, Austin Hines, Colton Hines and Emma Smith of Lindsay, Gracie Edwards of Maysville, Ayden Williams of Rush Springs, Jazmin Nunez and Teegan Rodgers of Whitebead. 

Student winners, parents, school teachers and administrators were honored at a banquet hosted by REC recently at the Cooperative’s Multi Purpose Center in Lindsay.

REC has offered these programs to area students since 1989. Over the past 30 years REC has provided: 314 scholarships; sent 89 high school juniors to the Youth Tour in Washington, D.C.; sent 81 high school juniors to the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp; and sent 204 eighth grade students to the YouthPower Energy Camp.

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