Sophomores Hayden Humes and Jakob Scroggins were selected by a panel of five judges to represent Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative at the 54th annual Youth Tour Conference in Washington, D.C.
Humes, from Platte County and Scroggins from North Platte, had the top two scores from a group of six students that were deemed finalists for the annual essay contest. They each received an all-expense paid trip to the Youth Tour leadership conference and each received new luggage for the trip.
Each had to write about the impact of electric vehicles and presented the essays in written and verbal form on Tuesday, April 23, at the Platte-Clay headquarters in Kearney.
Students from the PCEC coverage area of Buchanan, Caldwell, Clay, Clinton, DeKalb, Platte and Ray counties were eligible to enter.
“I’m really excited and I’m really grateful for the opportunity,” Scroggins said. “There was a lot of great people here and I’m excited to see where this opportunity takes me.”
Humes, who starts for the Platte County softball team, was the only finalist to use a slideshow during her verbal presentation of her essay.
She said it took her about a week to get the slideshow done, which noted about tax credits currently given for the purchase of electric cars.
“I felt like it would help me if I lost my place and I also felt it would help get my point across better with judges,” said Humes, who has never been to Washington, D.C., but is excited for the trip that will be from June 14-20.
“The Youth Tour has been around for a long time and we started back in 1964 sending kids to Washington, D.C.,” said Dave Deihl, the CEO and general manager of Platte-Clay Electric. “The Youth Tour has been near and dear to my heart. I have been involved for almost 25 years and I have seen a lot of kids go and when you go to Washington, D.C., they come back and say it was really a trip of a lifetime. There are 41 co-ops in Missouri and 40 of them participate in Youth Tour. So there will be about 100 kids just from Missouri and we will have kids from all over the country, so you are looking at close to 2,000 kids that will make the trip.”
The four other essay finalists will attend the Youth CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) in Jefferson City.
Platte County dominated the qualifiers with Humes, Connor Dean, Jayme Mitchell, Maia Moriarty and Ruben Rueda taking five of the six spots. The latter four will attend the Youth Cycle from July 17-19 in Jefferson City and each of those also received luggage for the trip. Dean was selected as the alternate incase Humes or Scroggins can’t attend the Washington, D.C. trip.
The judges were Shawna Searcy from the Kearney Area Development Council, Cody Thorn from the Platte County Citizen, Amy Neal from the Liberty Courier-Tribune, Mark Haase from the Platte-Clay Electric focus group and Sarah McKinley, a Pathfinder volunteer.