The Riverland Energy Cooperative Youth Ambassador Program is an educational and enjoyable program designed for high school juniors. It's a great way for students to enhance leadership skills, gain personal growth, and interact with other students by examining the operation of electric cooperatives.
Students will become familiar with Riverland Energy Cooperative's infrastructure, learn about renewable energy, and participate in Youth Leadership Conferences.
The program will run from November 2023 - September 2024. The only qualification is that students must be a junior in high school at the start of the program.
For more information, contact Beth Alesch at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-411-9115.
Students will meet at various locations, depending on the event and purpose of the meeting, with a majority of them at Riverland Energy Cooperative Headquarters in Arcadia. They will occur from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Meals will be provided during meetings or activities. Students will also get paid a per diem and reimbursed mileage for meetings and all activities.
Youth Ambassador Meetings
Co-ops 101: We walk through the history of cooperatives and electric cooperatives, introduce the cooperative business model and give them an interactive group project of starting their own cooperative business. Other things covered will be renewable energy and energy distribution.
Power Plant Tour: Students will tour the John P. Madgett (JPM) generation facility, learning about how coal generates power for their homes. They will have a guided tour through the power plant with hopes of coming away with understanding of the electric generation process.
Leadership/Business Fair Project: We will have a guest speakeron leadership and teamwork to inspire them to develop and grow their leadership skills, confidence, and character.
Careers: Students will learn about the different careers in the industry and the needs for a talented workforce. This aims to instill an interest in the energy industry and encourages students to plan their education path that will prepare them as a competitive, viable job applicant in the future.
Distinguished Youth Ambassador Scholarship: $1,000
This scholarship is based on students’ attendance at meetings, coop events, attending the Youth Leadership Conference, and more.
Youth Leadership Scholarship Award: $1,000
This scholarship is awarded to a student, or students, who participate in activities throughout the Youth Ambassador Program, with emphasis on the business fair competition.
WECA Essay Contest through attendance at Youth Leadership Conference: $250, $500, $1,000 This scholarship is through our statewide association, WECA, for which students who attend the Youth Leadership Conference have a chance to write an essay on a topic/speaker following the conference.
Other awards include gift cards, apparel, and other trinkets earned at meetings or activities throughout the year as a Youth Ambassador. The scholarships will be given to one, or divided between two or three, students.
NRECA Youth Tour - Washington, D.C.
Youth ambassadors have the opportunity to enter an essay contest for a chance to attend an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. This is a 6-day event in which youth ambassadors meet up with other students across the state and travel to Washington, D.C. The students visit historic monuments and museums, and meet with U.S. Representatives and Senators.
WECA Youth Leadership Conference
This is a three-day event sponsored by Wisconsin electric cooperatives, facilitated by Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association (WECA). Students can develop their leadership skills while learning the purpose, operation, and scope of cooperative businesses. They spend three days on a college campus and experience a typical college environment, complete with living in the residence halls and attending sessions throughout campus. Activities and entertainment include volleyball, basketball, hypnotist, dance, games, etc.
Co-op Events Volunteer Opportunities
Students can get some volunteer hours by helping at our co-op events such as the Annual Meeting in March or our Member Appreciation event in October. Other events and opportunities may be available as they arise.