Annual Meeting 2014, Co-op Newsmakers, Special Features

Youth Tour Marks Anniversary with New Initiative

By Paul Wesslund Published: March 7th, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Electric Co-op Youth Tour will celebrate its 50th anniversary the week of June 16, and launch the next 50 years by announcing a community service partnership.

Bill Verner, Caleb Monson and Rebecca Kraus Wasserman (l-r) at the Youth Tour forum.(Photo By: Luis Gomez Photos)

Bill Verner, Caleb Monson and Rebecca Kraus Wasserman (l-r) at the Youth Tour forum.(Photo By: Luis Gomez Photos)

At the 72nd NRECA Annual Meeting forum “Fifty Years of Light: The Electric Co-op Youth Tour Gets Even Brighter,” moderator Laura Marshall Schepis, NRECA vice president, political affairs, said at the Youth Tour’s Youth Day this summer, NRECA and the Points of Light organization will begin a mini-grant program to support local volunteer initiatives.

Schepis said the community service effort is intended “to capture the energy of 1,600 students coming together from 46 states.”

Bill Verner, vice president, external affairs, Georgia EMC, a Youth Tour member in 1979 and Youth Leadership Council president in 1979-1980, described the historical importance of the Youth Tour. He praised the community service partnership, saying it could take the program into the future with “a powerful army of youth leaders.”

Caleb Monson, the YLC delegate from Minnesota, promised that Youth Tour members would get involved.

To make his point he called on two members of the YLC to describe work they’re already involved in: Alexandra Selman from Alabama works with groups to stop domestic violence and Virginia Craeger of Colorado stressed the value of volunteering.

Partnership details will be spelled out on that day in June, said panelist Rebecca Kraus Wasserman, senior director, Youth and Family Programs, generationOn/Points of Light.

She said the group that began with President George H.W. Bush’s Points of Light initiative will administer the program that will offer one grant of $500 to each of the states in the Youth Tour.

Noting the community involvement of the Youth Tour students, Wasserman said the NRECA/Points of Light partnership will help “by taking those projects to the next level.”

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