GCEC Rewards Students With Tallahassee Trip

2 students and an alternate were chosen to represent GCEC at Youth Tour this summer in Washington, D.C. From left are Andrew Pliscofsky, Noah Taunton and Allie Archibald (alternate).

Andrew Pliscofsky and Noah Taunton represent Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative next month at the annual Rural Electric Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. The 2 were selected in the cooperative’s recent competition. Allie Archibald is the alternate.

The co-op sponsors the contest for high school juniors whose parents or guardians are GCEC members.

A panel of three judges from the electric cooperative industry interviews candidates. 2 winners are chosen for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they join other high school students from across the United States for a tour of the nation’s capital.

Local civic organizations and high schools nominate students for the trip. This year’s contestants and the organizations they represented were:

  • Allie Archibald, Gulf County Emergency Medical Services.
  • Leah Beene, Wewahitchka High School.
  • Zac Cassady, Kinard Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Ellie Colwell, Bay High School.
  • Sam Hunter, Wetappo Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Jaden Lawson, Deane Bozeman School.Andrew Pliscofsky, A. Crawford
  • Mosley High School.
  • Tessa Talarico, Port St. Joe High School.
  • Noah Taunton, Dalkeith Volunteer Fire Department.
Students arrive for a mock trial in the Florida Supreme Court.

In February, GCEC took all of the nominated students on a 2-day trip to Tallahassee, where they toured sites in the state capital with high school juniors representing electric co-ops from across the state.

On the first day of the trip, students visited Mission San Luis and the Challenger Learning Center. The day ended with a visit to District 850.

The next day, the group had a mock trial in the Supreme Court and mock sessions in the House and Senate chambers, along with a visit from Rep. Shane Abbott and Sen. Corey Simon.

“Youth Tour is a great opportunity for us to reward local students for being outstanding leaders in their communities,” says GCEC Vice President of Marketing and Communications Kristin Douglas.

During the Tallahassee tour, students watch a blacksmith demonstration at Mission San Luis.

The Rural Electric Youth Tour program started in 1957 when co-ops sent students to Washington, D.C., to work during the summer. By 1964, the program caught on, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association began to coordinate the effort.

Since then, thousands of young people have experienced this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit our nation’s capital and learn about cooperatives and the nation’s government.