Four Local Students Are Winners of Washington, D.C. Tour

ATC (Adams Telephone) photo (l to r): ATC Winner Isabelle Nichols, ATC Winner Abby Pilkington, and ATC Alternate Cody Shaffer
AEC (Adams Electric) photo (l to r): AEC Winner Anna Fenton, AEC Winner Dylan Koch, and AEC Alternate Owen Zanger

On March 29, 2023, 30 area sophomores and juniors met in Springfield for the 2023 Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperative Youth Day. Seventeen students represented Adams Electric Cooperative and thirteen students represented Adams Telephone Co-Operative.

After visiting the State Capitol, touring Abraham Lincoln’s Home and the Presidential Abraham Lincoln Museum, students participated in an interview competition. Two trips were awarded by each cooperative for the 2023 Youth to Washington contest. This year’s judges were Baylee Flowers and Christina Harper from the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives.

The winners of Adams Electric Cooperative’s 62th Annual “Youth to Washington” contest were Anna Fenton from Quincy Notre Dame High School, daughter of Scot and Wendy Fenton, and Dylan Koch from Rushville-Industry High School, son of Joshua Koch. Owen Zanger from Quincy Senior High School, son of Chuck and Bridgett Zanger was named Alternate.  

Winners representing Adams Telephone Co-Operative are Isabelle Nichols from Unity High School, daughter of Scott Nichols and Veronica Kayser, and Abby Pilkington from Unity High School, daughter of Shannon and Tammy Pilkington. Cody Shaffer from Unity High School, son of Curt and Kristin Shaffer was named Alternate.

Alternates are eligible to go to Washington, D.C. if a winner is unable to attend. Alternates will receive $50.

Winners will join approximately 60 other high school students representing Illinois electric and telephone cooperatives on June 16, 2023 and travel to Washington, D.C. They will be accompanied by several chaperones and return to Springfield on June 23.

During the all expense-paid week in Washington, D.C., winners will join approximately 1,500-2,000 other students from 42 states for “Rural Electric Youth Week,” sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and electric cooperatives across the United States. Activities include touring the U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress, Arlington National Cemetery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington Monument, and other national shrines. The group will also have an opportunity to meet their senators and representatives.

For more information on the Youth to Washington Contest, contact Adams Electric Cooperative at 800-232-4797 or Adams Telephone Co-Operative at 877-696-4611.

Pictured with Representative Norine Hammond are students (Back row): Ethan Rodgers, Nolan Stiefel, Melvin McMillen, Hunter Bruenger, Brady Muegge, Owen Zanger, Ethan Marshall, Olivia Heinze, Grace Grenlund, Dashira Fletcher, Londen Reardon, Andrea Schaffnit, Journey Stotts, Amelia Bruening, and Owen Northern; (Front row): Sophia Shaffer, Delyla Pratt, Isabelle Nichols, Caitlin Burwinkel, Anna Fenton, Rep. Norine Hammond, Saria Milan, Alixandria Bauer, Hayden Frankel, Sophie East, Sierra Miller, Abby Pilkington, and Adaleno Pedro. Not pictured: Dylan Koch, Cody Shaffer, and Ben McClelland

Written by Lori Miller