Congratulations to Rebecca Lancaster and to Victoria Wahlen who submitted the winning essay’s for the Nueces Electric Cooperative 2014 Youth Tour trip to Washington D.C.! In June, Victoria and Rebecca will travel with 120 other Texas High School electric co-op delegates to Washington D.C. where they will take VIP tours of the monuments and speak with legislators about NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association) priorities.

Each year, Nueces Electric Cooperative sponsors two attendees to make this educational and inspirational journey. The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has brought high school students to Washington, D.C. every June since the late 1950s. Nearly 50,000 students from rural areas and small towns across America have participated in this program. Some of our Youth Tour alumni have gone on to design airplanes, to lead companies and to serve in the highest ranks of our government, including the U.S. Senate.

This past January, several NEC youth entered short essay’s for the chance to win this trip of a lifetime. The essay’s were written from the perspective of someone 75 years ago, when electricity first illuminated rural South Texas.
Prior to 1938, only larger populated areas had electricity. For-profit electric companies did not take electricity out to South Texas farmers and ranchers. Building power lines was costly and little money was to be made.
In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized a need and signed the Rural Electrification Act. The Act allowed farmers and ranchers the opportunity to obtain loans from the government to build power lines to their homes and businesses. So began the electric cooperative movement. In 1938, Farmers and ranchers from Nueces, Kleberg and Jim Wells Counties gathered together, going door to door, talking to their neighbors about electricity and banding together to form a non-profit electric cooperative. They elected a board, received a loan, and poured hours of sweat into building power lines so they too could pull a string and have a light bulb illuminate a room at night. As we know today, the modern conveniences of electricity change lives.
The NRECA Youth Tour teaches delegates about the rich history of electric cooperatives and shows them how they can help make the future brighter for the co-op industry.
Rebecca and Victoria will travel to Dallas where they will meet up with all Texas Youth Tour attendees to begin their trip on June 12th and will return on June 20th.
Nueces Electric Cooperative is honored to be able to provide these programs to our communities. If you will be a Sophomore or Junior next year, lookout for your opportunity to enter your short essay. The essay entry period is from October through the end of January. Information, the essay topic and Youth Tour details can be found at
NEC is celebrating 75 years of service to members! Started by a group of farmers and ranchers who truly exemplified the pioneer spirit, Nueces Electric Cooperative, Inc. has served the Coastal Bend since 1938. Nueces Electric Cooperative has evolved into a Cooperative that provides delivery services to over 19,000 meters utilizing over 3,100 miles of energized power line. Nueces Electric Cooperative also provides competitive retail services to Texas residents and businesses. For information contact us at 1.800.NEC.WATT or
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Photo Attached: 2014 Nueces Electric Cooperative Youth Tour winners Rebecca Lancaster and Victoria Wahlen. Both high school Juniors entered winning short essays and will represent South Texas during a week-long VIP trip to Washington D.C. this coming June.

D.C. Fun Facts:
• The District of Columbia was established on June 11, 1800
• The Pentagon has 17.5 miles of hallways. It has its own Zip Code.
• Washington DC has over 170 embassies and international culture centers.
• The tallest building in Washington DC is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception built in 1959 standing at 329 feet.



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Julie Bedsole