Manager's Message: Investing Today Develops Leaders for Tomorrow
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Rural Electric Youth Tour.
Youth Tour was created 50 years ago by a rural electric co-op member from Texas - Lyndon B. Johnson. He thought bringing teen-aged student leaders to Washington, D.C., would be a great way to foster future leaders for cooperatives, and that’s still our goal when we invest in our teenagers each year.
Here in Michigan, HomeWorks has been participating since the mid-1980s, and we have sent about 60 high school students from mid-Michigan to the nation’s capital over those years. Sometimes it’s their first airplane flight, or their first significant trip away from their small town and family.
Tiffany Burton and Michaela Clark represented us this year, then came to the co-op's annual meeting to tell us about the experience. They were joined by 1995 Youth Tour alumnus Cary Dumas.
We had asked previous Youth Tour participants to update us on where they are now, and what impact the Youth Tour had on them, and we’ll be sharing a few of those stories over the next few months in Country Lines.
They all remember the monuments and museums, but nearly everyone has said "meeting new people" and "seeing their world become bigger" made the biggest difference to them.
Investing in our future leaders is more important than ever. There are many challenges ahead for HomeWorks, and a committed, educated board of directors will be necessary to guide us through them, just as our past and current directors have brought your co-op to where it is today.
That same need exists in our businesses, communities, states, and even our nation. Where will we find those leaders?
Investing in teens now will help us develop the leaders we need tomorrow.
Thank-you for your investment in the future - for your continued support of programs like Youth Tour, our scholarships, and similar programs.