Capital Electric Cooperative sends Bismarck Junior to Electric Cooperative Youth Tour
Fun. Busy. Networking. Those are the three words Jillian McCusker, a junior at Bismarck’s Century High School, chose to describe her trip to Washington, D.C., for the 2019 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Representing Capital Electric Cooperative (CEC), McCusker joined teenagers from across the country in the nation’s capitol in June. The itineray was jam-packed and not a minute was wasted.
“Everyday was just full of fun things to do,” says McCusker. “The latest we got up in the morning was 7:45 a.m. The earliest we got back was 8:30 p.m.”
While in the nation’s capital, McCusker toured the Capitol building, visited the monuments along the National Mall and strolled the halls of several museums. She participated in leadership training and learned about electric cooperatives and how the federal government operates. She also met with members of North Dakota’s congressional delegation.
“It was awesome to be able to sit with them and hear what they had in store for our future and how they saw us impacting the future of North Dakota, as well,” says McCusker.
McCusker says her favorite part of the trip was meeting new people and making lifelong friends.
“I made very valuable friendships with people, and I couldn’t be more grateful. This is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities. I know you hear that a lot, but it truly is. You get to meet so many new people, interact with people from so many different backgrounds and states, along with acquiring so much knowledge about our country and our history, as well. It’s a mix between fun and learning.”
The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has been bringing high school students from across the nation to Washington, D.C., since the late 1950s. Students apply by submitting an essay to their local co-op. Each year, CEC selects one student to represent the co-op on the tour. The all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., is a once in a lifetime opportunity. And McCusker says it’s an experience she’ll never forget.
“It surpassed my expectations,” says McCusker. “I’m super grateful that I got this opportunity. It really is an experience I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.”