From Feb. 24 through 28, Youth Tour alumnus KRIS WAGNER ,Satanta High School, served as the Kansas Youth Leadership Council representative at the NRECA Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee from February 24 through 28. Fourty-four Youth Leadership Council (YLC) members appeared together carrying their state flags during the traditional parade of the states at the beginning of the first general session. Throughout the event, these students gained hands-on experience with by participating in every facet of the meeting. The students helped board members communicate with their legislators at the Co-ops Vote booth, served as pages during the business session, and provided assistance during the educational forums.
“The theme for the NRECA Annual Meeting was, Leading The Energy Future, and this theme couldn’t have been better directed at the youth of the convention,” said Wagner. “Cooperatives are doing great things by sponsoring kids on life-changing experiences like the Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., and the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where kids connect with other youth and see how our nation’s government works. These trips, as well as scholarships, are a direct investment in our youth as we will grow and become local, national, and global leaders. We are the future of this industry.”
The YLC members were selected from more than 1,800 state delegates during the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in 2017, in part for their speaking and writing abilities. Sponsored on Youth Tour by Southern Pioneer Electric (a subsidiary of Pioneer Electric), Wagner was selected by his peers as
an alternate to the YLC. Wagner was able to attend when Butler Electric Cooperative’s youth, Ben Black, who had been originally elected as the Kansas YLC, had another commitment.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my opportunity as a member of YLC, it’s that the next generation is fi lled with amazing individuals who are already serving as leaders,” Wagner said. “Thank you to the cooperatives for trusting us with the honor to serve on the YLC.”
In addition to their work at the NRECA Annual Meeting, the YLC students also volunteered their time at Nashville’s Second Harvest food bank. The youth packed 10,171 pounds of food, which equates to approximately 8,476 meals.