Beeta Riahi, a 2010 Burnsville High School graduate, recently returned from Orlando, Fla., where she served on the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) during its 69th Annual Meeting, March 7-9, 2011.

Riahi, sponsored by Dakota Electric Association, represented Minnesota on the YLC, a national leadership group formed by NRECA and composed of 42 students from across the country. YLC members played an important role in NRECA’s Annual Meeting, which drew more than 8,000 electric co-op leaders from around the country. In addition to performing specific jobs at the event, YLC members had the opportunity to become familiar with national issues affecting electric cooperatives and the consumers they serve. 

Riahi worked at the NRECA Congressional Action Center, encouraging cooperative members to contact their U.S. senators and representatives on key co-op issues, including protecting consumers and keeping electricity rates affordable.

“It is an honor to represent Minnesota, and I am very thankful for this opportunity,” said Riahi.

The YLC kicked off the meeting by being on stage with their state flags during the first general session. Other YLC duties included providing assistance to NRECA staff and participating in educational forums.

Youth Leadership Council is an extension of the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, where more than 1,500 high school students — sponsored by their local electric cooperatives — meet in Washington, D.C., in June each year. The students visit with their elected representative and senators, attend educational seminars and visit historic landmarks. Dakota Electric sends five students to Washington D. C. each year.

NRECA is the service organization for the nation’s more than 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, which provide electric service to 42 million people in 47 states.