Established in 1988, the mission of ETREYS (East Texas Rural Electric Youth Seminar) is to foster positive ideas and values among young people and to enhance skills in leadership, problem-solving and interpersonal relationships.
Each year, Cherokee County Electric Cooperative joins eight other east Texas cooperatives in sponsoring the East Texas Rural Electric Youth Seminar (ETREYS). CCECA offers an all-expenses-paid trip to 10 sophomores and juniors who are attending a high school in the CCECA service area. Participants are selected on the basis of overall excellence and involvement in extracurricular activities including leadership positions, academic awards, etc.
Participating cooperatives include: Bowie-Cass, Cherokee County, Deep East, Houston County, Jasper-Newton, Panola-Harrison, Rusk County, Upshur Rural and Wood County. This year the event will be held June 22-26, 2020 at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas.
For more information about ETREYS please contact Crystal De La Cruz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 903-683-2248 ext. 3055.
In June, Mary Elizabeth Fletcher from Rusk High School was in Washington, D.C., expanding her horizons by exploring the monuments on the National Mall, shaking hands with elected officials and dancing on a boat on the Potomac River.
Cummins was Cherokee County Electric Cooperative’s ETREY Program Scholarship winner, and the prize was a place on the 2019 Government-in-Action Youth Tour, an all-expenses-paid trip to the nation’s capital, June 12–21, with more than 157 fellow Texas students and 1,700 young adults from around the country.
Youth Tour has been a Texas tradition since 1965, when co-ops—inspired by then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, who encouraged youths to go to Washington to see “what the flag stands for and represents”—began sponsoring teens on this trip. Educating and mentoring young people fits in with co-ops’ missions to support the communities they serve, and since the program’s inception, nearly 4,000 Texans have gone on what many call the trip of a lifetime.
This year, Fletcher began her adventure in Austin, where winners from across the state are greeted by Texas Electric Cooperatives, the association that organizes the state’s participation in Youth Tour. From there, they took a tour of the State Capitol and Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum before boarding a flight to Washington, D.C.
In D.C., the itinerary was jam-packed with sightseeing and meaningful events, including witnessing a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and attending appointments with elected officials. Highlights also include visiting Mount Vernon; the National Cathedral; the Smithsonian Institution; the Holocaust Memorial Museum; and the Lincoln, Jefferson and Vietnam Veterans memorials, seeing a show at the Kennedy Center and rallying with fellow students from around the U.S. for a day of inspirational leadership speakers.
After her week in Washington, Ms. Fletcher has brought home memories that will last a lifetime.
For more information about Youth Tour, visit texasyouthtour.com, find the Texas Youth Tour Alumni page on Facebook or ask Cherokee County EC for a more information on the ETREYS Program.