In June, Kankakee Valley REMC sent four high school students to Washington D.C. in a week long trip as a part of the Youth Tour program. High school juniorswho are on their way to becomingseniors can apply for the trip, and it is completely free for thestudentsselected, as it’s paid for by Kankakee Valley REMC.
The Youth Tour is a national program that started in the 1950s by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association as a way to show rural youth the nation’s capital when they otherwise maynot have gotten the chance.
Since the program started, it has grown from a group of34 people to 1,500 whoparticipate today. Kankakee Valley REMC has been involved with the program for a little over fifteen years.
“Some students have never been to Washington D.C.” Amanda Steeb, KV REMC’s Communications Director said. “This is a way they can experience that.”
This year’s group includedValerie Churchill and Katherine Evans from Washington Township High School, Kortney Sikora from South Central High School, and Selena Maynard from Kouts High School.
"This is one of the best opportunities I have ever been given,” saidEvans. “This opportunity gave mea chance to learn, grow, and meet several terrific people along the way."
The educational part of the trip starts when the bus stops at the CivilWar Battlefieldin GettysburgNational Military Park, well before thestudentseven reachWashington D.C.
When they do arrive inWashington D.C, the students visitmany of the museums, memorials, and monuments. On Youth Day, the students from all of the electric cooperatives meet for a rally where they get to hear from various speakers.
This is all-in-all a greatopportunity for studentsto expand their education and experiences.Be on the lookoutfor next year’s trip as well asothers infuture!