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From the CEO's Desk: By Doug Tracy

Delegates from the 2022 Youth Tour trip to Washington, D.C., pose in front of the U.S. Capitol. Pictured, from left, are Reese Ramler, Ella Murphy, Josie Hoskins, Jamie Jarvis, Madelyn Brune and Kaitlyn Benesek.Every year around this time, there are several programs in play at CREC that focus on our community’s youth. The application period for CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) opens this month. Youth Tour applications are due soon, as are scholarship applications. It’s during this time that I’m reminded of our co-op’s commitment to invest in our young members. It’s easy to think of your electric bill as an investment in the community. You already know that all of the dollars the co-op takes in stays local and allows us to make updates to our system, which helps ensure we deliver safe, reliable, and affordable energy to you. But as a co-op, we’re also motivated by enhancing and serving our community, rather than profits.
Education has always been front and center for CREC. Our students will become our future leaders, and we’re dedicated to supporting them through leadership and scholarship programs.

The Youth Tour provides high school juniors with a unique opportunity to learn about democracy and leadership in Washington, D.C. CREC sponsors and sends six delegates who will be among dozens from Missouri and hundreds from across the nation to spend a week in the nation’s capital this summer. The 2023 application deadline is March 10. You can download an application by clicking here.

CREC’s seven-member Community Trust Board administers funds donated by the co-op’s Operation Round Up program to award scholarships to graduating high school seniors and current college students. The Trust Board has awarded 2,556 scholarships totaling over $1.4 million since 1997. The application deadline for the 2023 scholarship program is April 14. Students can fill out an application by clicking here.

The CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) program is a three-day conference held in our state’s capital each summer. Over 88 high school sophomores will receive invitations to attend this conference in Jefferson City which features activities and discussion sessions focused on electric cooperative history, state government, and leadership skill development. The 2023 application deadline is April 19. You can find an application by clicking here

CREC’s commitment to the cooperative principles of education and concern for community extends to delivering safety and energy programs at schools throughout the co-op’s service area. Few know more about this than fourth-grade students who get a visit from Keith Mueller and his tabletop “Hot Line” demonstration. The program covers basic electrical safety, indoor and outdoor electrical safety at home, series and parallel circuits, and many MAP standards that enhance the curriculum. Joe Schmitz adds energy efficiency education into the mix, developed for grades 6-8. His “Efficient Everyday Energy!” program focuses on energy conservation and efficiency and enhances middle school science curriculum. Both Keith and Joe are education specialists who work on behalf of our co-op to provide school and community programs in partnership with our power supplier, Central Electric Power Cooperative (CEPC).

It’s my hope that our members who have students will take advantage of the educational opportunities that CREC offers whenever possible. As a co-op, offering these resources is important to us, and together, we can build investment into our youth’s future.

This article is from the March edition of Current Times/Rural Missouri. Click here to read the full magazine.