Local students to have Virtual Youth Experience

by Pee Dee Electric Cooperative

Annual trips canceled due to the coronavirus

IN FEBRUARY, Pee Dee Electric selected five local high school students to represent the cooperative and be a part of two memorable summer experiences. Caden Booth and Ethan Shaw—both from Mayo High School for Math, Science, and Technology—and Cameron Graham of Darlington High School were scheduled to go to Washington, D.C. for the Rural Cooperative Youth Tour in June. Ar’Kadius Benjamin of Lake View High and Grace Johnson of Mayo High were slated for the Cooperative Youth Summit in South Carolina’s capital city.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis has forced the cancellation of both of those events. However, the local students will still have the opportunity to connect with new friends and learn this summer. The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina will hold a Virtual Youth Experience for students selected by their local cooperative. The multi-day event is planned for June 22–25 and will occur over the web-conferencing platform WebEx.

During the experience, the students will learn about cooperatives and how they are handling the COVID-19 crisis, hear from lawmakers on Capitol Hill and at the Statehouse, and learn from citizen leaders around the state about what is being done in response to the crisis. Students will also have the opportunity to earn a $5,000 college scholarship by creating a video or podcast detailing how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted their lives.

“During these times, we have to be innovative in order to continue supporting our communities and members,” says Katie Wilcox, who handles community development for Pee Dee Electric. “We’re disappointed that these students don’t get to take the trips as they were originally planned. But, we’re glad that this experience is available to them. We think it will still be one they will always remember.”

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