Juniors Jacob Branch-Boyle, Gabriela Garcia, Rose Graveson and Meredith Nass selected
Area high school students Jacob Branch-Boyle (Durango), Gabriela Garcia (Ignacio), Rose Graveson (Pagosa Springs), and Meredith Nass (Durango) have been selected to represent La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) as part of the National Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington D.C.
The opportunity to participate in the D.C. Youth Tour, scheduled for June 13-20, 2013, was open to all current high school juniors who receive their electric power from La Plata Electric Association. LPEA annually underwrites the cost of the trip for up to four students within its service territory – one from each school district. No applications were received from Bayfield this year.
“This trip is a tremendous opportunity for our area juniors,” said Greg Munro, LPEA CEO. “The country and the world are facing many challenges in the energy arena, and the industry is changing, so it’s important that our next generation gain an understanding about energy policy development at the federal level. We are pleased to be able to further that education.”
Students completed an application and penned a 500-word essay covering an aspect of the electric industry of their choosing. Excerpts of the winning students’ essays are included below.
LPEA’s student representatives will join juniors from the cooperative’s sister electric co-ops across Colorado for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The schedule includes an intimate look at the nation’s capitol and the government from the inside, including discussion of current concerns with national and state Congressional representatives. Tours of Washington D.C.’s monuments and museums, plus social activities, are also part of the agenda.
In his essay, Durango High School junior Jacob Branch-Boyle addressed geothermal power generation as a renewable resource: “Such power plants don’t create pollution, and are forever reliable because the earth’s thermal energy is everlasting and constant, unlike solar or wind power which have been known to be unpredictable.”
Gabriela Garcia, a junior at Ignacio High School, also addressed renewable energy, though her focus was in support of solar power: “I hope in the future to have everything run by solar power thus saving our fossil banks for emergencies. In Colorado we receive an abundant amount of sunlight enough to power our homes, cars and school.”
Pagosa Springs High School junior Rose Graveson also addressed the need for clean, renewable energy development: “By harnessing the sun’s powerful rays, or capturing the power of the wind, we can provide the exact same electricity that burning coal does. But the difference is that methods like solar, wind or biomass do not create the harmful pollution that fossils fuels do.”
Meredith Nass, a junior at Durango High School, recognized the importance and benefits of bringing electricity to countries throughout the world, especially impoverished Third World cultures: “Electricity may be seen as the best hope the world has for promoting a better future; a future where all people will share the privileges of clean water, education, and an opportunity for children to live until they die of old age.”
Applications for the 2014 Washington D.C. Youth Tour will be available in November 2013 at LPEA’s offices in Durango and Pagosa Springs, through area high school counselors, or on the web, www.lpea.coop. Home-schooled students are eligible to apply.
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with nearly 41,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, contact LPEA at 970.247.5786 or visit www.lpea.coop.