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Youth Tour delegates describe “incredible opportunity”

Alex Armstrong and Riley Erlandson will remember the summer of 2016 as anything but typical. With words like “inspirational,” “incredible opportunity,” and “it changed my life,” ECE’s delegates on the Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour described their experiences in Washington, D.C.

“Meeting Congressman Rick Nolan was one of my highlights,” said Alex, who graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School this year. “I thought he was inspirational. I learned that the drive to succeed is absolutely necessary. It is also important to stand up for your values.”

“The thing that made the Youth Tour different than a vacation to Washington, D.C. was all of the opportunities we were given,” said Riley, who is starting her senior year at Foley High School. “We had the incredible chance to speak with our representatives and senators at the Capitol building. We got to see the room where the House of Representatives meets and votes and talk to staffers
about working at the Capitol.”

The tour strengthened Alex’s interest in government, and he plans to seek an internship in Congress as a result. For Riley, the most meaningful aspect of the trip was the people she met.

“It was so cool to be around other ambitious people my age who have a passion for politics and making the world a better place. There were many funny moments…, and we also learned and grew together all week.”

Riley and Alex joined more than 1,700 students from around the nation on the June 11-16 Youth Tour.  The event has been sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association for more than 50 years.

ECE accepts applications each year from high school juniors and seniors who would like to be considered for the Youth Tour. To be eligible, their parent or guardian must be an ECE member. To learn more about the tour, visit and click on Community.

Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour images

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