Trip of a Lifetime

Youth tour

For more than fifty years, America’s electric co-ops have made their voices heard by sending outstanding high school students to Washington, D.C. for a week on the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.

These students tour our nation’s capital, learn about the cooperative difference and compete to represent their state on the Youth Leadership Council (YLC), a national co-op program that aims to develop America’s strongest young leaders.

We’re proud to announce that Karis Dean, one of Piedmont Electric’s student representatives, was selected as the North Carolina YLC representative by her peers to represent them on a national level. After the Youth Tour, we had the chance to chat with Karis about her experience.

What was your favorite part of the Youth Tour?

My favorite part of the Youth Tour was being able to see a variety of ideals, perspectives and disciplines. I was able to meet people that have lived completely different lives, all of us united by a common passion.

What did you learn about co-ops?

I learned about the seven cooperative principles and how those principles are applied at electric cooperatives like Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation. I was blown away to see the real impact volunteer linemen had on the communities in rural counties through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s international program.

PEMC Youth TourPiedmont Electric’s Youth Tourists Rainier Vaughn (left) and Karis Dean (right) in front of the United States Capitol.

What are you most looking forward to about the role of being North Carolina’s YLC representative?

I am so excited to learn more about cooperatives, especially electric co-ops, and their impact on their communities. I am also extremely excited to get to know my fellow “YLC-sters”.