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Two high school students whose families are Midwest Energy & Communications (MEC) electric customers explored Washington, D.C. June 16-20 as two of Michigan’s delegates to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Tour.

Mikayla Copley, daughter of Alyse Copley and junior at Three Rivers High School, and Emilee Smith, daughter of Norm and Jodee Smith and junior at Decatur High School, joined approximately 1,800 students representing electric cooperatives from all over the United States for this annual event. The two students were selected based on their applications and after spending a day with a team of MEC employees.

“Youth Tour provides young people with a truly exceptional experience that builds character and creates a sense of appreciation for our rich history, as a country and an association of rural electric cooperatives,” said Patty Nowlin, vice president of corporate communications at MEC. “We want to help these kids develop an emotional connection to our great nation and their role in it, and develop that connection as leaders back in their local communities.”

Highlights of the all-expenses paid tour included visits to Arlington National Cemetery, the National Cathedral, the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and a number of historic memorials and monuments. They also met with Michigan Congressional representatives while touring the U.S. Capitol Building, and took in a show at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.