Written by Van O’Cain, Washington Youth Tour - South Carolina Director
Devin Hall, a rising high school senior at Batesburg-Leesville High School, was among 71 students from across South Carolina who participated in the 2019 Washington Youth Tour. The tour took place June 15-20, 2019 in our nation’s capital. Hall was sponsored by Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative.
The Washington Youth Tour is a national week-long, all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Nearly 1,800 students representing electric cooperatives from across the U.S. participate. Students are selected on the basis of their academic achievements, school activities, community service, recommendations and personal interview.
Hall is the son of Parker and JoLee Hall of Batesburg-Leesville.
South Carolina’s electric cooperatives have sponsored the Washington Youth Tour since 1964. The Youth Tour is designed to educate students about our nation’s capital, the sacrifices made for our freedoms, and the value of the cooperative way of business. The students come home after a week with a greater appreciation of our nation’s leaders, a keen interest in politics, a respect for the beauty of Washington, D.C., and friendships that will last a lifetime.
In addition to receiving an exciting and educational travel opportunity, South Carolina Youth Tour winners also are eligible to compete for a $5,000 college scholarship and a slot on the Youth Leadership Council, made up of one student from each of the 47 states where electric cooperatives are located. The Youth Leadership Council delegate gets further leadership training in Washington, D.C., and attends the annual conference of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association to be held in Orlando.
While in Washington, the South Carolina students spent a day on Capitol Hill visiting with their congressional representatives and witnessing government in action. They visited the World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial wall, several Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust Museum, Arlington Cemetery, the Washington Monument, Mount Vernon and many other historical sites.
The students also enjoyed a boat cruise on the Potomac River and attended a Youth Day rally with a number of other participating states.
All high school juniors living or attending school in areas served by Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative are eligible to apply for the Youth Tour.