Two area students will travel to Washington, D.C. this June, courtesy of San Patricio Electric Cooperative. Skye Marin, a senior at Three Rivers High School, and Ethan Thetford, a senior at Sinton High School, entered and won SPEC’s essay contest, earning them the opportunity to attend the Government-in-Action Youth Tour.
More than 1,900 students from cooperatives across the county will attend Youth Tour this year, which runs from June 12-21. Marin and Thetford will be among more than 150 students in the Texas delegation.
The group will kick off the trip with a day in Austin, giving students the opportunity to explore the Texas State Capital and Bullock Texas State History Museum.
Then, the delegation will fly to Washington, D.C. with a packed schedule of sightseeing and activities. Marin and Thetford will visit the Smithsonian Institution, Washington National Cathedral, Mount Vernon, memorials and more.
Activities include seeing a performance at the Kennedy Center, going on a boat cruise on the Potomac, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, meeting with elected officials on Capitol Hill and learning about rural electrification.
Historically, SPEC has sponsored two students on Youth Tour each year, covering the cost of airfare, accommodations, meals and entrance fees to all attractions. After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Youth Tour is back and we couldn’t be happier to offer this unforgettable opportunity to students once again.
SPEC’s Youth Tour contest was open to high school juniors and seniors in the co-op’s nine-county service area, whose parents are members of the co-op. Applicants were required to have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. To enter, students had to fill out a short application and answer the essay question, “If you had the opportunity to change one thing about your school or community, what would it be and why?”
Youth Tour has been a Texas co-op tradition since 1965, when the state’s electric cooperatives banded together to send 58 deserving high school students on this unforgettable trip. Educating and mentoring young people fit in with co-ops’ mission to empower and enrich the communities they serve. Since the program’s inception, more than 4,400 Texans have taken part in Youth Tour.
Youth Tour is often described as the trip of a lifetime, and we think all of our participants come back in total agreement. Not only do they gain knowledge of our nation’s history, but also open a door to new ideas, opportunities and friendships that will last a lifetime. Congratulations to Marin and Thetford for earning this amazing opportunity.