Local student wins educational trips


Westbrook Christian School student Chase Smidt was one of the top performers in the 24th Annual Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Challenge held Jan. 28. 

Fifteen students from the various area high schools in the CVEC service area participated in this year’s competition. The students had already competed against their classmates by writing an essay about rural electrical cooperatives and were selected as the winning participants from each school.

The day began at CVEC with a written test designed to determine the student’s knowledge of the cooperative philosophy and the rural electric system movement in the United States. The students were interviewed individually by a panel of electric cooperative experts who further analyzed the student’s goals for the future as well as knowledge about cooperatives and current world events.

Each student was graded on the essay, interview and test. Grades were averaged and top scorers chosen. 

Along with Bailey Smith of Victory Christian School and Julie Byrd of Fayetteville High School, Smidt received two all-expenses paid trips, where they will meet students from around Alabama and around the nation while learning about the power industry, their government and their country.

The first trip is to Alabama’s state capital, Montgomery, for three days. The second is a six-day trip to Washington, D.C., where the winners will represent CVEC and the state of Alabama. The students will meet Youth Tour competition winners from cooperatives all over the United States.

“Coosa Valley Electric has several programs focused on education,” said Leland Fuller, CVEC General Manager.  “The Youth Tour Competition is one that requires students to invest time and attention into learning about electric cooperatives and the power industry as a whole.  We hope what they have learned will stay with them into the future as they start their careers and families.

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