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Midwest Energy sends high school students to D.C.
COURTESY PHOTO Dalton Dicks, son of Shane and Hayley Dicks of Great Bend and a senior at Great Bend High School, visited Washington D.C. as part of the Electric Cooperatives Youth Tour, June 13-20

Dalton Dicks, Great Bend High School student and son of Shane and Haley Dicks of Great Bend, was one of five students from Midwest Energy’s service area that attended the 59th Annual Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., June 13-20. 

Each participant for Midwest Energy was asked to complete a comprehensive application. The board then reviewed and selected the participants. Selected as this year’s representatives from the five service areas are: Dalton Dicks from Great Bend, Landon Dinkel from Hays, Ethan Hildebrand from Stafford, Macy Schamberger from Hoxie and Thane Wildeman from Colby.

These students joined teens from across the U.S. to spend a week touring Washington, D.C. There, these student leaders learned more about our history and government, the co-op business model, and how to become community leaders.

While in D.C., the students toured the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Smithsonian museums, Mt. Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Cathedral and many memorials and historical sites. They participated in a simulation at the new National Law Enforcement Museum. The students also attended a Washington Nationals baseball game, a theater performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and saw the pandas at the National Zoo. 

“The physical history I was able to interact with had the most impact on me,” said Dicks. “You can see any memorial or structure in books, postcards, or other media. But seeing, touching, and taking my own photos of the many places we visited has an impact and puts a new perspective on history.” 

As part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s National Youth Day on June 17, students from all 50 states met to learn from inspirational speakers. This year’s keynote speaker was Mike Schlappi, a four-time Paralympic Medalist and two-time world wheelchair basketball champion, who shared his inspiring message, “Just because you can’t stand up doesn’t mean you can’t stand out!” 

Midwest Energy is proud to have sponsored students on this trip for decades. To learn more about the program or to apply for the 2020 Youth Tour, visit tour. Applications for the 2020 Youth Tour are due by Feb. 1.