WRVEC Youth Heads to Washington, D.C.

The 2019 Youth Tour winners, from left to right, who will represent WRVEC in Washington, D.C., in June, are Katelyn Cobbs, Matthew Conradson, and Reagan Swatosh.

Local students from Ava and Bradleyville selected for Youth Tour

WRVEC Youth Tour Finalists – The 2019 Youth Tour finalists from left to right are (back row) Taylor Steele, Nixa; Reagan Swatosh, Ava; Bryan Keeney, Hollister; Jerrica Jenkins, Ozark; Derek Brown, Forsyth; Matthew Conradson, Bradleyville; Sophie McAdara, Homeschool; (front row) Katelyn Cobbs, Trinity Christian Academy; Brooke Wiggins, Sparta High School; Hannah Parker, Chadwick; Aria Spencer, Branson; Angelica Duarte, Spokane; Kirsten Berndt, School of the Ozarks.

BRANSON –– Three area students will represent White River Valley Electric Cooperative and travel to Washington, D.C., with the national Youth Tour on June 14-20. The winners are Katelyn Cobbs, Trinity Christian Academy; Matthew Conradson, Bradleyville High School; and Reagan Swatosh, Ava High School.  They were chosen from 13 finalists at a banquet on April 5 at College of the Ozarks.

The other ten finalists were Taylor Steele, Nixa; Bryan Keeney, Hollister; Jerrica Jenkins, Ozark; Derek Brown, Forsyth; Sophie McAdara, Homeschool; Brooke Wiggins, Sparta High School; Hannah Parker, Chadwick; Aria Spencer, Branson; Angelica Duarte, Spokane; Kirsten Berndt, School of the Ozarks.

High school juniors from participating schools across WRVEC’s five-county service area each submitted an essay or video that answered the question, “In 100 years, what do you want to be your life’s legacy?”

One winner from each participating school was chosen by a panel of three judges. The first round judge panel included Erin Hayes, Professor of the Practice of Journalism at College of the Ozarks and retired ABC News Correspondent; Robin Jackson, Creative Director of Jackson+Appleton; and Dr. Stacy McNeill, Professor and Division Chair of Performing and Professional Arts at College of the Ozarks.

Each of the thirteen finalists took a quiz about electric cooperatives and presented their essay in front of friends, family, and a second panel of judges at the banquet- Austin Fonda, Member Services Director of Laclede Electric Cooperative; Diana Prasifka, Former WRVEC Youth Tour Coordinator; and Chris Massman from the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

Three winners were announced at the close of the evening.  Cobbs, Conradson, and Swatosh will join more than 1,200 other winners from electric cooperatives across the country for an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they will tour national monuments, visit with elected officials and experience government in action.