Julia Patterson and August Herbrich were recently selected as the winners of the 2019 Government-in-Action Youth Tour contest. The two students will represent Fayette Electric Cooperative on the tour of our nation’s capital June 12 -21. Taylor Nelius, daughter of Travis and Ashley Nelius of Round Top, was selected as the alternate.
The 2019 winners were selected based on their community involvement, academic achievements, details shared in five persuasive essays, and a live interview with an independent panel of judges.
The program evolved from an idea of then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, an advocate of rural electrification and youth supporter, who inspired cooperatives to send area students to the Washington to see their American heritage and government at work. Since 1965, electric cooperatives in Texas have participated in the nationwide program, coordinated by Texas Electric Cooperatives, the statewide association.
The events kick off in Austin, where students will tour the Capitol and its visitors’center and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Next, the students fly on a chartered flight to Washington, D.C., and begin a whirlwind tour of the nation’s capital, visiting the National Museum of American History, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian Museums, Mount Vernon, memorials and more. Activities include learning more about rural electrification and the cooperative business model, going on a Potomac River boat cruise with dinner and dancing, and meeting with their elected officials.
“The opportunity to observe the legislative process while representing my electric co-op is phenomenal,” said Patterson, a junior at Round Top-Carmine High School and daughter of Randall and Dr. Linda Patterson of Round Top.
“I have always been interested in visiting our Capitol, and I will take advantage of the opportunities there, and strive to learn as much as I can,” said Herbrich, a sophomore at La Grange High School and the son of James and Shannon Herbrich of La Grange.
“The Youth Tour is helping to develop the next generation of leaders for our rural communities,” said FEC General Manager Gary Don Nietsche.