Local students awarded a trip to Washington, D.C.

Gibson EMC Key Accounts Representative Cynthia McClure, Gracie Lusk, Brandon Hutchison, Karli Henson, Kaylee Cook, Tanner Snyder, Alix Kirkendol and South Gibson County High School English Teacher Denice Walton visit the U.S. Capitol while on the Washington Youth Tour sponsored by Gibson EMC.

GIBSON COUNTY, TN — The Gibson Electric Membership Corporation recently awarded six local students with a trip to Washington, D.C.

Obion County High School’s Kaylee Cook, Hickman County High School’s Gracie Lusk, Crockett County High School’s Karli Henson, Lake County High School’s Tanner Snyder, South Fulton High School’s Brandon Hutchison and South Gibson County High School’s Alix Kirkendol, along with 135 other students from across Tennessee, participated in the week long Rural Electric Youth Tour.

Gibson Electric says the annual event gives young leaders an opportunity to explore the nation’s capital, learn about government and cooperatives, and develop their leadership skills. Gibson Electric says the students were selected for the trip by writing short stories titled “Electric Cooperatives — Going Beyond the Wires” that explain how co-ops provide communities with more than electric power.

“The Youth Tour is an incredible opportunity for these students to experience history up-close and personal,” says Gibson EMC Key Accounts Representative and trip chaperone Cynthia McClure. “Delegates experience a whirlwind of a week, visiting museums, monuments and other landmarks.”

Gibson Electric says Tennessee’s Youth Tour delegates saw the White House and memorials of past presidents and monuments honoring the sacrifices of veterans of World War II and the Vietnam and Korean Wars. They visited the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, historic homes of former presidents, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a boat cruise down the Potomac River. Gibson Electric says when they visited Arlington National Cemetery, Tanner Snyder was one of four students to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Lake County High School student Tanner Snyder (front, center) participates in the wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

“Electric co-ops genuinely care about the prosperity of the communities we serve,” Gibson EMC and Gibson Connect President and CEO Dan Rodamaker said. “The Washington Youth Tour is a small but important way for us to show these exceptional students that rural Tennessee matters. We want them to be passionate about their communities and prepared to lead when those opportunities come along.”

Gibson Electric says President Lyndon Johnson inspired the Washington Youth Tour in 1957 when he encouraged electric cooperatives to send youngsters to the nation’s capital. In the years since, more than 6,000 young Tennesseans have been delegates on the Washington Youth Tour.