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High school juniors invited to apply for Youth Tour to Washington D.C.

La Plata Electric Association (LPEA), in partnership with The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), is seeking high school juniors to be a part of the National Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington D.C., set for June 14-21, 2012.

Application deadline is Friday, Dec. 16.

To provide additional information and lend assistance with the application process, LPEA’s Corporate Services staff will host an optional reception for interested students and their parents on Thursday, Nov. 3, 5:30-7 p.m., at the cooperative’s Durango headquarters (45 Stewart St., Bodo Industrial Park). All high school juniors whose households receive electricity from LPEA are eligible to apply.

“The Youth Tour to Washington D.C. is unique to rural electric cooperatives across the country,” said Greg Munro, LPEA CEO. “Annually, LPEA and our sister co-ops select and sponsor high school juniors for this all-expense paid experience to our nation’s capitol. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we encourage our local high school students to apply.”

The Washington D.C. youth tour features an intimate look at the federal government and the nation’s capitol, including museum and monument tours, as well as interaction with Colorado’s elected representatives. Social activities are also part of the adventure.

“The country is facing tremendous challenges in the energy industry, so it’s important that our next generation has a clear understanding about energy policy development at the federal level,” added Munro.

LPEA seeks to sponsor one student from each municipality within its service territory — Pagosa Springs, Durango, Bayfield and Ignacio. Home school students are also eligible.

“To be considered, students must complete the D.C. Youth Tour application and submit it to LPEA, along with an essay of 500 words or less about any aspect of the electric energy industry,” said Jeannie Bennett, LPEA public relations coordinator overseeing the Youth Tour application process. “We encourage everyone interested to come out to the reception on November 3, as we’ll be able to tell you more about the tour and perhaps give you a little insight into what the selection committee looks for when reviewing the essays.”

Applicants will be evaluated on their essays and those selected will be notified over the holidays. Applications will be available at the Nov. 3 reception, as well as on the LPEA website,, from high school counselors, and at the LPEA offices in Durango and Pagosa Springs.

For further information regarding the National Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington D.C., contact Jeannie Bennett, (970) 382-3505, or

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