Youth to Washington Program


Egyptian Electric Cooperative selected eight local teenagers for the 2018 Youth Day in Springfield and two for the 2018 Youth to Washington! Sophomores, juniors and seniors, attending a public or private high schools within the Egyptian Electric service territorial footprint, or otherwise a member of the cooperative, are eligible to apply.  Schools include: Marissa, Sparta, Chester, Pinckneyville, Murphysboro, Elverado, Trico, Carbondale, Steeleville, Carterville and Carterville.

Applications Due-March 16, 2018

Youth Day-April 18, 2018

Youth Tour-June 8-15, 2018

Applications were made available to the area high school guidance counselors, below, and in our offices. The application form includes completing short summaries of the student’s school activities, civic activities and other accomplishments, plus short answers pertaining to southern Illinois and rural electric cooperatives. Students are judged on their written application and demonstrated understanding of the rural electric program. A blind independent panel of judges selects the winners for Youth Day, with the top two selected as the Youth to Washington delegates. All applicants must be able to attend Illinois Youth Day to be considered for Youth Tour. All expenses are paid by Egyptian Electric Cooperative, and transportation provided. If you have any questions on the application or the program, please contact Brooke Guthman, or  

2018 Egyptian Electric Youth Tour Delegates

  • Grace Koester
    Grace Koester

  • Michael Fisher
    Michael Fisher

Youth Day

Eight students were chosen to attend Youth Day in Springfield on April 18, 2018. During the day, these students and their Illinois counterparts, met with  their elected senator on the floor at the Capitol to learn first-hand about the workings of state government and electric cooperatives. In addition, the students toured the Old State Capitol and the Abraham Lincoln Museum. 

2018 Youth Day Participants

  • Alexandria Ebbler
    Alexandria Ebbler

    Trico High School

  • Elizabeth Froemling
    Elizabeth Froemling

    Trico High School

  • Andrew Pugh-Gordon

    Murphysboro High School

  • Matthew Koester
    Matthew Koester

    Christ Our Savior Lutheran High School-Evansville

  • Jesse Miller
    Jesse Miller

    Murphysboro High School

  • Maurice Valliant
    Maurice Valliant

    Murphysboro High School

Youth Day 2018 Photos

Youth Day Dress Code

  • Provided T-shirt
  • Black or Khaki Slacks – no jeans
  • Sport coat (optional for boys)
  • Comfortable shoes – no flip flops

Youth to Washington

What do 1,500 high school students, our nation’s capital and electric cooperatives have in common? The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, of course!  Youth Tour was established with one thought in mind – to inspire our next generation of leaders.  Since 1964, more than 50,000 young Americans have taken advantage of this special opportunity offered by their electric cooperative.  It all takes place in June, when hundreds of electric co-ops across the country send participants to Washington, D.C. for a chance to learn about the cooperative business model and a full week of sightseeing.  While in D.C., participants have a chance to meet with their elected officials and discuss the issues that are important back home. Without a doubt, Youth Tour has grown into an invaluable program that gives young Americans an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.    

The top two students from Youth Day, will be selected to represent Egyptian Electric Cooperative and our state, by attending the Youth to Washington trip.  The two winners, chaperones and approximately 60 Illinois students travel by bus, from Mt. Vernon to Washington D.C., to join over 1,500 high school students from around the country, on one of the most recognized youth programs. They will enjoy several activities such as:

  • Tour Monuments & Memorials: Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean Veterans Memorial, Iwo Jima Statue, World War II Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and Arlington Cemetery.
  • Tour Historic Sites: Smithsonian Museums, Holocaust Memorial Museum, Newseum and the 9/11 Memorial.
  • Interact with: Peers from across the U.S. sponsored by rural electric cooperatives; meet with your members of Congress and make new friends.

Melissa Crosby, a Chester High school student and one that was selected in 2016 said, “I enjoyed meeting other students from around the state and it was a memorable experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I appreciate being given the opportunity!”  Youth Tour is so much more than a sightseeing trip. Students have repeatedly shared that this experience has helped them grow into successful professionals. It has also benefited our local communities. Youth Tour participants return home with a deeper understanding and skillset of what it takes to be leader, and as a result, they put these skills to use right here in our community.  Help us find the next generation of leaders by sharing the Youth Tour experience with a promising student.

For more information visit our statewide association’s webpage, Youth Programs.  Weren’t selected, but still would like to travel with Egyptian Electric Cooperative on Youth Tour?  For more information on attending as a Willie Wiredhand Participant, visit our statewide association’s webpage, Willie Wiredhand Youth Tour Participant, for more information.

Youth to Washington 2018 Photos

June 22, 2018

Local students represent Egyptian Electric during the nationwide Youth to Washington Tour

WASHINGTON – What do you get when 71 students from 27 Illinois electric and telephone cooperatives join more than 1,800 of their peers across the United States? You get the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth to Washington Tour.

Two local students were selected from a diverse group of applicants to represent Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association (EECA) to enjoy an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. from June 8-15 as part of the annual Youth Tour.  The 2018 Youth Tour delegates from EECA included Michael Fisher of Ava and Grace Koester of Red Bud.

The students toured Capitol Hill and met with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Michael Bost. They also visited historical and cultural sites including Arlington National Cemetery, the Supreme Court, Newseum, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, a variety of memorials and the U.S. Capitol. Among fun activities the students enjoyed were the Marine Corps Sunset Parade, the Smithsonian Museums and an assembly of Youth Tour participants from across the nation.

“Youth Tour is a great opportunity that changes these students’ lives,” says Shane Hermetz, general manager of EECA. “This experience helps prepare them for their futures. After touring our nation’s capital, meeting congressional representatives and learning firsthand how our government works, they return home with valuable knowledge and memories that will last a lifetime.”

Since 1964, the nation’s cooperative electric and telephone utilities have sponsored more than 60,000 high school students to visit Washington, D.C. To learn more about the Youth to Washington Tour, go to