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Student participates in D.C. trip through Wheatland Electric
Olivia Mull, senior at Great Bend High School, and Delaney Mayo, senior at Caldwell Senior High School, attend the "Get Acquainted Banquet" in Topeka, on June 13 representing Wheatland Electric, before they left for Washington D.C.

Each spring, a group of high school juniors apply for a week long, all expenses paid, trip of a lifetime through Wheatland Electric Cooperative Inc. With leadership development and history at the core of this trip, students gain exposure to traveling, visit numerous historic landmarks, make friendships that will last a lifetime, learn about cooperative principles, and develop in their individual leadership capacities. Nearly 1,800 students from across the United States traveled to Washington, D.C. this year from June 15-20, and two Wheatland Electric members were among them.

Olivia Mull, upcoming senior at Great Bend High School was one of the lucky recipients of this trip for summer 2019. After a vigorous, competitive application process this spring, Mull was selected to participate in the Youth Tour in Washington D.C. Mull wrote an essay, took a test, and interviewed with a three-judge panel. Delaney Mayo, senior at Caldwell High School, also served as a Wheatland Electric Youth Tour delegate on the trip to D.C. Below are some of the highlights from the trip Olivia and Delaney participated in. 

On the evening of June 13, the group of 40 Youth Tour student delegates from Kansas gathered in Topeka for an introductory “Get Acquainted Banquet” and then had a day full of activities on June 14, including bucket truck rides and safety demonstrations at FreeState Electric Cooperative Inc. in Topeka. While there, students also participated in a career meet and greet with numerous employees from FreeState representing departments such as Operations, Safety, IT, Accounting, Communications, Member Services, and HR, for students to learn about the many career opportunities that Coops provide. 

On June 15, the Youth Tour began. From touring the battlefields of Gettysburg, Penn., to visiting historic Washington, D.C., landmarks such as the Arlington National Cemetery, President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite and witnessing the time-honored changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the students were immersed in our nation’s history. While in D.C., the group of students also heard brief lectures at the Lincoln Memorial, Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) War Memorial, National World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and went on an exterior tour of the White House. They also listened to the Olympic Gold Medalist, Mike Schlappi.

Students learned about Clara Barton, the Missing Soldiers Office, and President Abraham Lincoln’s leadership principles at Ford’s Theater. The group was then given time to explore the Smithsonian Institution and attended a Washington Nationals baseball game. 

At various stops on the trip, students also visited Cooperative offices and had the opportunity to attend a legislative briefing at the NRECA Capitol Hill office. Additionally, students spent a day on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress. They also took a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol Building, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Library of Congress and interacted with a Kansas Senator. or contact your local Wheatland Electric office and ask to speak with Member Services to learn more about how a Wheatland Electric member can apply for the Youth Tour program.