Young & Empowered

Deadlines approach for Youth Tour, Empower conference

large group of people standing in front of empower signOpportunities to network and learn new skills await students and teachers through a couple of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC)-sponsored initiatives.

Applications are due by February 28 for both the WEC Youth Tour and the Empower Energy Education Workshop. Youth Tour teaches area high school juniors about government and history while helping them develop leadership skills. Empower finds unique ways for educators to implement energy education into their lesson plans.

Youth Tour Stays Local

For the second consecutive year, WEC will conduct a local version of the Youth Tour program. It still has many of the features found in past Montgomery and Washington Youth Tour events.

The 10 student delegates will learn about America’s history and the role electric cooperatives played in it. They will also participate in a question-and-answer session with state and federal legislators, giving them unique insight into how our nation’s government operates. Participants will also partake in a leadership development seminar and tour WEC’s headquarters in Hartford.

All delegates earn a $1,500 scholarship. To be eligible, an applicant must be a high school junior who is a dependent of a WEC member.

This year’s event occurs April 11. Applications can be downloaded at

“We are honored to conduct this event once again,” says WEC Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro. “Youth Tour teaches the next generation valuable lessons about leadership, teamwork, history, and government. We thank our board of trustees for investing in this program with the scholarships, as well.”

Empower Shapes Energy Education

After a two-year hiatus, the Empower workshop will resume June 26 to 29 in Destin, Florida. Coronavirus concerns forced the conference’s cancellation the previous two years.

lineman with young girl in bucket truckDuring the four-day workshop at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, teachers learn about electricity generation and distribution across this nation. Experts from the National Energy Education Development Project, or NEED, also help teachers find interesting and interactive ways to implement those lessons.

Attendees receive a NEED Science of Energy kit and access to a variety of other NEED resources, which are tailored to accommodate any student from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Educators who complete the course will receive continuing education credits. All conference-related costs are covered.

“We are thrilled that Empower is resuming in 2022,” Kimbro says. “This workshop is integral in helping teachers and their students understand the science of electricity and how the generation and distribution of it influences our nation.”

Space is limited, so interested educators must apply at the NEED website by February 28.