Unused opportunity: Tanner Electric wants high school juniors for all-expenses trip to nation's capital

It's been three years since a local high school junior took in the sights of Washington, D.C., on Tanner Electric's dime.

The North Bend power co-op wants to change that in 2012.

Asked why, Tanner staff Lisa Peabody and Steve Walter roll off the cooperative's core principals of education, training and community involvement.

"This is the way we give back to some of our young members, something they might never afford to do, or even thought about," said Walter, Tanner's president.

The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour gives sends hundreds of high school juniors to the other Washington every June, all expenses paid. Participants meet congressmen and senators, take part in workshops and discussions meant to help them understand the nation's democratic process and grow their leadership potential.

"They get the opportunity to see how DC works," said Walter. "They get to go into Congress and actually talk to them, see the process.

"It's important for young minds to see that, from a different light," Walter added.

That knowledge will benefit high school students as they become adults.

"Some go into politics themselves," Walter said.

There's also plenty of sightseeing, dinners and a dance for the teens.

"They are busy from 7 to 11," said Peabody, administrative assistant at Tanner. "It's not boring by any means."

The program is open to high school juniors whose families are Tanner members. Tanner provides electricity to residents in North Bend and Ames Lake.

An application form and more information can be found on Tanner's website, To learn more about the Youth Tour, visit

The deadline for application is Monday, Feb. 13.

Students may also talk to their high school counselor for more information.


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