NOVEC Takes Five Local Students on Annual Tour of Washington, D.C.

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Provided by NOVEC

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) sponsored five local high school students on the 2019 Youth Tour of Washington, D.C., from June 16-20. Four of these students are from Prince William County high schools and the fifth from a high school in Fauquier County. The students joined nearly 80 others from 12 cooperatives that belong to the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC) and nearly 1,800 other students from all over the United States. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) organized the tour.

NOVEC’s Youth Tour Students

  • Victoria Baker, Seton High School
  • Audrey Fisher, Kettle Run High School (Fauquier)
  • Annalee Hunniford, Forest Park High School
  • Maliha Qureshi, Stonewall Jackson High School
  • Kiley Smith, Patriot High School

Youth Tour

The students learned about cooperatives, toured the Capitol building, and met with their congressional representatives. They visited Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, and the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. They enjoyed a Potomac River cruise, the National Zoo, and Hello, Dolly! at the Kennedy Center. At a private farewell event, the students explored the Newseum.

“While on Youth Tour, I learned about the fast pace and complicated structure of work on Capitol Hill,” Smith said. “Visiting with legislators showed me it takes a significant amount of work and a bit of finesse to actually get laws passed.”

Hunniford added, “I hadn’t really seen politics in action until Youth Tour. Seeing the Capitol and behind-the-scenes of the House and Senate opened up a whole new perspective to me. I am definitely interested in being a Capitol Hill intern.”

Qureshi noted the uniqueness of what she learned on Youth Tour. “I learned so much about cooperatives I never knew before, and I learned about the work NRECA is doing to help provide electricity in areas of need in foreign countries.”

Baker did not expect to meet so many students who had never been to the capital before. “Living in Northern Virginia spoils us a bit, because we’re so used to living close to Washington, D.C. For people I met from states much farther away, the opportunity to visit here is extraordinarily rare.”

Fisher was surprised at how much happens on the trip in such a short period of time. “You are introduced to so many new things — new people, new places, a new appreciation for the work that electric cooperatives do, and a new understanding of how the U.S. government works as a whole.”

What’s Next

The NOVEC group will visit Richmond in February to learn about government at the state level and meet with their representatives in the Virginia General Assembly.

“We had an exceptional group of young people on this year’s tour,” said Andrew Vehorn, vice president of governmental affairs at the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives and Youth Tour director. “They were enthusiastic and energetic, and even though we did our best to tire them out, they enjoyed experiences that will serve them and their cooperative communities well into the future.”


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