Two local students were sponsored by Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation to attend the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., this summer.
Dale Mahala of Ashe County (at left in photo) and Garrison Wagoner of Alleghany County visited monuments, the Smithsonian museums, and met with representatives in the U.S. House and Senate and were among 1,500 students from across the nation to attend the Youth Tour.
Dale is the son of Edward and Penny Mahala and is a rising senior at Ashe County High School. Garrison is the son of Brian and Paula Wagoner and is a rising senior at Alleghany High School.
“We were privileged to sponsor Dale and Garrison at the National Electric Cooperative Youth Tour,” said Grey Scheer, director of community relations for Blue Ridge Electric. “We knew they were the right candidates to represent our cooperative on the tour after reviewing their outstanding applications.”
The all-expense-paid trip educates youth on issues in the energy industry, provides an opportunity for the students to become familiar with the historical and political environment of the nation’s capitol, and also allows them to meet elected officials. The Youth Tour is a joint effort between Blue Ridge Electric, the statewide associations and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) based in Arlington, Va. Since 1964, the nation’s cooperative electric utilities have sent more than 50,000 high school juniors and seniors on this week-long trip. NRECA is the national service organization representing the nation’s more than 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, which provide electric service to 42 million people in 47 states.
For more information about Blue Ridge Electric’s Washington Youth Tour and other leadership and scholarship opportunities, please visit www.blueridgeemc.com and click on “in the community” tab. Additional youth tour information can be found at www.youthtour.coop.
Blue Ridge Electric is a member-owned electric cooperative utility serving some 74,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Avery and Alexander counties.