Ryan Hayson of Cowden and Sarah Locke of Strasburg represented Shelby Electric Cooperative in Washington, D.C., during the annual “Youth to Washington” Tour, June 14-21. This event, sponsored by the electric and telephone cooperatives of Illinois since the late 1950s, is an introduction to our democratic form of government and cooperatives for rural youth.
The students met with Congressman John Shimkus and were among 65 rural Illinois youth leaders selected for the trip. The Illinois students joined more than 1,520 young leaders from across the country. In addition to the Capitol, they also visited Arlington National Cemetery, the Washington National Cathedral, several Smithsonian Museums, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the World War II Memorial, memorials to Presidents Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington and Roosevelt, the National Archives, the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, the Newseum and a number of other historical sites.
During the trip, Sarah Locke was chosen by her peers to represent Illinois on the Youth Leadership Council of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The YLC is a year-long appointment and Locke will represent Shelby Electric Cooperative and the state’s cooperatives at national and state meeting and events in the year ahead.