Youth Tour/CYCLE Contest Winners

Diamond’s Owen Gray and Carthage’s Lydia Rockers were selected as the top prize winners in New-Mac Electric Cooperative’s annual Youth Tour/CYCLE Contest for 2018.

Winners of New-Mac Electric's 2018 Youth Tour/CYCLE Contest included (front row, L-R)
Owen Gray, Lydia Rockers, Brayton Link and (not available) Emma Bragg. They are pictured with
co-op representatives Josh King, Kevin Wilson, Mary Hatfield, Mark Rakes and Mitch McCumber.

By virtue of their top placement in the competition for high school juniors, Gray and Rockers will represent New-Mac at Youth Tour – a week-long experience in Washington D.C.

East Newton’s Brayton Link and home-school student Emma Bragg were their third and fourth place finishers, respectively, and will serve as New-Mac delegates at CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience), which takes place in Jefferson City.

Youth Tour delegates: (L-R)
Owen Gray and Lydia Rockers

Additional finalists included Sarcoxie’s Ashleigh Sommer, who will be the first alternate, and Diamond’s Brian Jimenez (second alternate).

The contest was open to juniors in the 10 school districts that are at least partially served by New-Mac Electric. In addition to the aforemention schools, McDonald County, Neosho, Joplin, Pierce City, Seneca and Wheaton students were also eligible, as were home or private school juniors from the 10 districts.

Contestants were required to write a 400-600 word essay on the topic “How Electricity Improved Farm Life.” Finalists were then selected and invited to New-Mac’s Neosho office for a personal interview by a panel of judges.

CYCLE delegates: (L-R)
Brayton Link and Emma Bragg

Youth Tour will take place June 8-14. Gray and Rockers will attend a banquet in Jefferson City honoring the more than 100 delegates representing 37 Missouri electric cooperatives. Then, the next morning, they will be bused to St. Louis and fly on to Washington D.C., where they will spend the next five days visiting numerous tourist attractions. Some of their stops include the Air Force, Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jefferson, Iwo Jima, World War II, Vietnam, Korean and Lincoln Memorials; Arlington National Cemetery; Mt. Vernon; Ford’s Theatre; and Capitol Hill. They will also interact with over 1,500 students from co-ops across the country during NRECA Youth Day.  On the final day, the group will visit the White House before flying back to St. Louis, and busing to Jefferson City to conclude the trip.

Link and Bragg’s CYCLE trip is July 18-20 in Jefferson City. Around 150 students from 39 cooperatives take part in this learning experience. Highlights include touring the Missouri Supreme Court and State Capitol and the opportunity to debate a fictional bill from the acutal floor of the House of Representatives. Additionally, they participate in leadership training, hear informative speakers, and interact with one another during various enjoyable activities.

If you know someone locally who will be a high school junior in the near future, make sure they participate in New-Mac Electric’s Youth Tour/CYCLE Contest. Details for next year's competition will be announced in January.