Youth Tour

South Plains Electric Cooperative will send four students on the 2017 Youth Tour. To earn your spot on this incredible trip June 9-16, 2017, you have to be a junior or senior in high school. Once you enter the contest, all you have to do is tell a panel of judges why you would be a great Cooperative representative on the Youth Tour. It's that easy! No essays to write. No detailed speeches to prepare. It will be more like an interview, but instead of selling yourself for a job, you will be selling yourself for a FREE trip to Washington, D.C.

Entry Form Currently Closed

The entry form is currently closed for this year. Check back in the fall.

2016 Youth Tour Winners

2016 Youth Tour Winners

Pictured above (left to right) back row, are: Chandler and Payton. Front row: Ryan and Noe.

  • Chandler Sarchet, Shallowater, son of John and Jennifer Sarchet.
  • Payton Steed, Childress, daughter of Chuck and Paige Steed
  • Ryan Smith, Lubbock, son of Matt and Jennifer Smith.
  • Noe Sandoval, Guthrie, son of Daniel and Teresa Sandoval.

The Youth Tour brings more than 1,300 high school students to Washington, D.C., every year, and has since the early 1960s. More than 40,000 students from rural areas and small towns all over America have participated in this unique program.

Students on the tour learn about electric cooperatives, American history and U.S. government. They attend educational seminars, visit with their representatives in the House and the Senate, and see the sights around Washington, D.C. To learn more, go to


You must be a high school junior or senior. Students compete for the opportunity by participating in an interview process. The Cooperative selects students for this program through the overall strength of the applicant. For more information, contact Becky Wilson.

Contest rules:

Participants will be required to appear before an independent panel of judges to discuss the following questions.

    Co-op Questions:

  • What year was your cooperative formed?
  • How many directors serve on the board of directors of your cooperative?
  • About how many meters does your cooperative serve?
  • About how many members does your cooperative serve?
  • Your cooperative serves all or part of how many counties?
  • Where is the headquarters office of your cooperative?
  • What is the name of the generation and transmission cooperative from which your cooperative purchases wholesale electricity?
  • What is one of the Seven Cooperative Principles?
  • Who inspired the creation of Youth Tour?
  • How many years has Texas been participating in Youth Tour?
  • What is a difference between an electric cooperative and an investor-owned utility?
  • True Value hardware stores are part of a cooperative. Can you name other companies that follow the cooperative business model?
  • What do you think is the electric cooperative’s responsibility in the community?

  • Personal Questions:

  • Tell us about yourself and why you think you would be an ideal candidate to represent your cooperative in Washington, D.C.
  • What excites you the most about the possibility of going to Washington, D.C., on Youth Tour?
  • What do you do like to do for fun?
  • What are your education and career goals?
  • How would this opportunity help you achieve your life goals?
  • Have you traveled to Washington, D.C., or any other big city before?

  • Government Questions:

  • Name the three branches of the federal government and explain the duties of each.
  • If you could ask your congressional representative one question, what would you ask and why?
  • If you could ask the president a question, what would you ask and why?

Participants will have 5–7 minutes of interview time.
Judges will have the opportunity to ask additional questions.


Participants will be chosen based on how well they present themselves to the judges while answering the questions listed above (75 percent) and on their speaking ability, appearance and poise (25 percent).