Braden Struble, a rising senior at Wellington High School, was selected to represent Sumner-Cowley Electric Cooperative at the 58th Annual Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, joining 1,800 peers from across the nation. The Youth Tour was held June 7 through 14.

Struble was chosen through a selection process that required applicants to submit an essay, a letter of recommendation and complete an interview with co-op representatives. This opportunity was open only to children of Sumner-Cowley Electric members.

Struble joined teens from across Kansas to spend a week touring Washington, D.C. While there, these student leaders learned more about our history, our government, the co-op business model, and how to become community leaders.

While in D.C., the students tour 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. The students also attended a professional baseball game, a theater performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and saw the pandas at the National Zoo.

“We experienced so many unforgettable things during the Youth Tour but what impacted me the most were the war memorials,” said Struble. “Learning about the sacrifices so many Americans made for our country was an eye-opening experience.”

As part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s National Youth Day on June 11, all of the state groups convened to learn from inspirational speakers. This year’s keynote speaker is 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!”

“The speaker Mike Schlappi was extremely inspirational,” said Struble. “He showed us that we can overcome many things through perseverance and positivity.”

 Sumner-Cowley Electric is proud to have sponsored students on this trip since 1986. To learn how you can participate in Sumner-Cowley Electric’s Youth Tour program, contactSumner-Cowley Electric at 888-326-3356. For more information about Youth Tour, visit http://www.youthtour.coop.