Peggy Johnson
Peggy JohnsonCommunity Relations Director
Have someone in mind who would be perfect for Youth Tour 2020? Applications open after the first of the year. Watch for more information in Circuits or click the photo for more information.

Youth community engagement: a recipe for success

Electric cooperatives throughout the country have sent high school students to Washington, D.C., on an annual basis since the late 1950s. The week-long tour of our nation’s capital began with 34 students, and a hope to play a pivotal role in the lives of tomorrow’s leaders.

In June 2019, more than 1,800 students from 47 states attended the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Youth Tour. Designed to build leadership skills, Youth Tour educates our local youth on the cooperative business model, American history and government. Students visit monuments and museums, go sightseeing and tour federal agencies. They also meet their states’ elected officials.

Seeing American history up-close and learning how it impacts their lives, pushes our future leaders to be more actively involved in their communities. Some Youth Tour alumni have gone on to design airplanes, lead companies and serve in the highest ranks of our government, including the U.S. Senate.

As a community-focused organization run by an elected board of directors, Dakota Electric was built by, and belongs to, the communities we serve. Youth Tour allows us to share that knowledge with the next generation.

Dakota Electric is aware that the energy industry is rapidly changing and our local youth are our future. Investing time in these students is our responsibility as they will soon be leaders in their own communities.

Dakota Electric has sent students to Youth Tour for 51 years. This year, five local youth represented the association, reflecting a diversity of dreams and aspirations. Congratulations!

Where are they now?

We are interested in reaching out to members that attended Youth Tour in the past. If you, or someone you know, participated in a previous Youth Tour, please email [email protected] or call/text 612-978-4612. We look forward to hearing from you!