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Previous Winners

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Local high school students from DEMCO's service territory compete by submitting their own original essays for a chance to win DEMCO's Rural Electric Co-op Youth Tour Essay Contest.

The Youth Tour Essay Contest is an annual event that includes essay entries from students throughout DEMCO's seven-parish service area. The four winners are selected in March during an evening banquet honoring all 12 finalists, their families, teachers and school principals.

(from left to right: Riley, Jolibois, Chef John Folse, Ball and Wolff were winners in 2013)

Keynote speakers highlight an evening of fellowship.  Chef John Folse, who recounted the inspiring story of how he emerged from a life of little material means in St. James Parish to a world-renowned culinary master was a treat to hear from in 2013. 

Each finalists are judged on the oral presentation of his or her own essay. The finalists also complete a short written test on their knowledge of DEMCO and rural electrification.

Each year DEMCO's Youth Tour winners join about 28 other Louisiana students in the summer to embark on their weeklong trip to Washington, D.C. While in Washington, the Louisiana Youth Tour participants visit the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Supreme Court, National Archives, Arlington Cemetery, and many other historic buildings and landmarks. They also join about 1,500 other Youth Tour participants from 43 different states to learn more about electric cooperatives.

DEMCO pioneered Louisiana participation in the Rural Electric Youth Tour in 1978 when it sent the first students from Louisiana to Washington, D.C.

The purpose of the Youth Tour program is to provide outstanding youth with an insight into how their national government operates.