Five local high school students were recently selected to receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., sponsored by Dakota Electric Association. The winners are Luke Birtzer, taking PSEO classes at Inver Hills Community College, Daniel Dawson and Whitney Johnson, both of Hastings High School; Nicholas Misukanis, St. Thomas Academy; and Christopher Runck, Apple Valley High School. The students will participate in the National Rural Electric Association’s (NRECA) annual Washington, D.C. Youth Tour, scheduled for June 16-21. Shivaali Maddali, Eastview High School and Miranda Lawell, Apple Valley High School were selected as alternates.

Each June, more than 1,200 high school students from around the United States travel to Washington, D.C. for the NRECA Youth Tour. The participants are selected and sponsored by their local electric cooperatives. During the week, the students learn about government and electric cooperatives. They will have the opportunity to tour many of Washington, D.C.’s sites, including the Smithsonian, the FBI Building and the Vietnam Memorial, and they also have a chance to meet their elected officials.

“Dakota Electric is proud to sponsor local students to attend an event like the Washington, D.C. Youth Tour,” President and CEO Greg Miller said. “Some of the nation’s brightest students gather together to have fun and learn about our government.”
A panel of judges selected students after reviewing the student applications and interviewing them.

“We have a lot of quality students in our area and our judges always have a hard time narrowing it down to just five to go on the trip,” Peggy Johnson, Dakota Electric’s community relations director, said. “We thank all the students for applying.”

Applications from high school juniors and seniors are available for the Youth Tour program each January.

A customer-owned, non-profit utility since 1937, Dakota Electric Association provides electricity to more than 100,000 members throughout Dakota County and portions of Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties. Dakota Electric, a Touchstone Energy Partner, serves its member/owners with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.