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FEC sends students to D.C. for youth tour

| March 17, 2023 12:00 AM

Flathead Electric Cooperative will send three area high school students to the nation’s capital this summer on the annual Washington, D.C. Youth Tour.

Participants go through a competitive application process involving transcripts, essays, and references. This year, the co-op selected Tayen Lackey, a rising senior at Flathead High School and the son of Shanti Lackey; Kyle McCormick, a rising homeschool senior and son of Kerri McCormick and Lonnie McCormick; and Kaylee Hampton, a rising junior at Flathead High School and the daughter of Amanda Hampton and Robert Hampton.

Lackey is currently participating in Model United Nations and enrolled in International Baccalaureate courses. He is also an active member of BSA Troop 1901 and Eagle Scout.

“I have for many years been fascinated with the greatest systems in Washington, D.C., and their importance to our nation and the world,” Lackey enthused in his application.

McCormick is a dual-enrollment student at Flathead Valley Community College in addition to being an Eagle Scout, competitive swimmer, track participant and football player through Bigfork High School.

Hampton is deeply involved with Flathead’s Speech and Debate Team, in addition to the Kalispell Future Farmers of America group and volunteering at a veterinarian’s office. While in D.C., she is excited to increase her understanding of our nation’s electrical system as related to growth, and to learn more about cooperatives, too.

U.S. Sen. Lyndon Baines Johnson inspired the Youth Tour when he addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1957. The senator and future president declared, “If one thing comes out of this meeting, it will be sending youngsters to the national capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.” This notion evolved in the 1960s into a nationwide effort to send young people on organized, fun and educational trips to the nation’s capital.

Today, the NRECA Youth Tour sends more than 1,500 high-school students to Washington, D.C. each year to learn about the history of this country and the role electric cooperatives played in that history. Students also meet with their legislative delegation. Montana sends more than 25 students each year to participate in the Youth tour at no cost to those students.

The co-op uses unclaimed capital credits to fund “all-expense paid” trips to Youth Tour each year. Applications are open to high school sophomores or juniors from schools in the Flathead Electric service territory. The student’s parent or guardian must be served by Flathead Electric Cooperative.

For more information, visit www.flatheadelectric.com/youthtour

photo

Tayen Lackey

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Kyle McCormick