CREC seeks high school sophomores for CYCLE program

CREC sponsors five students at CYCLE
2019 CYCLE delegates

Are you a leader in your community and school? Do you want to learn more about state government?

Cuivre River Electric Cooperative is looking to send six high school sophomores to the Missouri Electric Cooperative CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) program this summer.

The annual contest is open to high school sophomores who live and attend school in Cuivre River’s general service area, or who have Cuivre River electric service in their homes. Local teachers are invited to nominate sophomore students to serve as CYCLE delegates, or students may apply independently.

As part of the application process, sophomore students are asked to submit a narrative about their school activities and community service. Applications are available at Cuivre River offices in Troy and Lake Saint Louis.

Download CYCLE application

The application deadline is April 15. A panel of judges will select six CYCLE delegates, and the names will be announced on May 11.

CYCLE delegates will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Jefferson City, July 15-17, 2020, to participate in the CYCLE program conducted by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC).

The conference provides an action-filled experience for the students, offering them opportunities to learn what it’s like to be involved in politics, community service, today’s pressing issues, the cooperative form of business and being a leader. Delegates will have the opportunity to tour the Missouri State Capitol and learn the process of local, state and national government.

“Missouri cooperatives are committed to developing our next generation of citizens,” said Tim Schmidt, who coordinates Cuivre River Electric’s participation in the program. “The CYCLE conference is a great opportunity for students to get an inside look at state government, learn leadership skills, hear interesting speakers and meet new friends. Students should return home with a positive outlook about public service.”

The CYCLE program is in its 17th year and is a past recipient of the National Community Youth Service award for the top youth program among all electric cooperatives in the country. Since 2004, Cuivre River has sponsored and provided more than 60 students with a continued focus on youth leadership and educational opportunities at CYCLE.

For more information about the CYCLE program, contact Tim Schmidt at 636-695-4837 or by email at


What is CYCLE

The CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) Program is a three-day conference held in Jefferson City, Mo. each summer. Over eighty-eight high school sophomores and juniors will receive invitations to attend this year’s prestigious youth conference. The CYCLE Program brings together some of the brightest young leaders from across Missouri each year, and provides these students with a truly unique and exciting leadership experience.

National Community Service Community Investment Award

The Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) CYCLE Program received the National Community Service Community Investment Award from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in 2014. This esteemed award honors AMEC’s commitment to youth development through programs that help young citizens learn about electric power, develop leadership skills and make contributions to their communities through a variety of activities that emphasize electric cooperatives and the cooperative business model.

CYCLE Program Information

Each summer, CYCLE delegates gather, for three days of activities and discussion sessions focused on electric cooperative history, state government and leadership skill development.

The delegates hear presentations from guest speakers, work on special team projects, and experience the state legislative process first-hand. Discussion topics include electric cooperatives and their member-owners, government organization, and general community issues.

Cooperative Knowledge

During the CYCLE session, students meet staff at the AMEC offices, where there is an orientation about the cooperative business model presented by employees who know the rich history of electric cooperatives and the industry's future. The students hear about how the first electric cooperative members signed up, how the first lines were strung on the poles, and how the electric cooperatives have evolved into the high quality systems of today.

Teamwork & Team Challenges

At the start of the CYCLE conference, students divide into teams in which they work to complete a set of challenges. In keeping with CYCLE theme, the team that wins a challenge will receive the highly coveted Yellow CYCLE Lanyard. Each delegate on the challenge winning team will receive and wear the Yellow CYCLE Lanyard, like the contestants in the Tour de France bicycle race, until another team wins the ensuing challenge. The challenges test each team's knowledge of electric cooperatives and their recall of information presented by the various conference speakers.

One of the challenges requires the teams to use a box of supplies to build a model of an electrical system to show how electricity gets from the generation plant to a consumer, and then explain how the system works. The competition is judged by a Statewide line crew instructor. Another challenge requires the students to compete against each other in a trivia game based upon Missouri history and facts.

CYCLE Program Exclusive Tours

The conference highlights are a personal guided tour of the Supreme Court of Missouri and the Missouri State Capitol Building. CYCLE delegates will also attend a special CYCLE session in the Senate and House of Representatives Chamber.

Missouri State Capitol Building

Before going to the Capitol Complex, delegates get an introduction to Missouri’s history and legislative process. They hear a brief presentation from speakers with experience in government service on how electric cooperatives and their grassroots advocate legislative positions before the General Assembly.

The tour of the Missouri State Capitol Building featured a special visit to the Governor's office. The delegates also visited the Missouri State Museum, stood under the 238 foot dome in the Rotunda, viewed the numerous Thomas Hart Benton murals, paintings, pediments and friezes that decorate the Capitol interior.

Senate and House of Representatives Chamber

The delegates then attend a special CYCLE session held in Senate and House of Representatives Chamber. This exclusive event gives the delegates a rare hands on experience of a lifetime, as they become the General Assembly.

The delegates are divided into their groups and must present their CYCLE Bills to their General Assembly for approval. The CYCLE Bills the delegates present to their General Assembly always lead to a debate between the groups.

Leadership Development

Missouri electric cooperatives are helping their youth to understand the cooperative principles, learn to make good decisions, and develop a positive outlook about public service. By engaging youth through the CYCLE program AMEC and its members are helping to teach important skills to new generations of productive citizens who will help their communities and nation grow.

The Future Leaders

Youth are the future. Impacting the lives of the youth of today is extremely important to the cooperative community. The mission of the youth programs sponsored by local electric cooperatives is built on the belief that textbooks and lectures alone are not enough to help students understand the democratic process and gain the skills necessary to become tomorrow's leaders.

Rather, today's teenagers also need an opportunity to experience government first-hand by visiting our state and nation's capital, meeting their Representative and Senators and engaging in interactive workshops and discussion. By educating students and enhancing their self-worth, AMEC and Cuivre River Electric Cooperative hope to promote and inspire responsible and informed participation in the democratic process - in essence, ensuring a stronger future for everyone.