— Winners will be Attending 1-of-2 Youth Leadership Trips in 2022–
Falcon, CO – Mountain View Electric Association, Inc. announces the winners of the Youth Leadership Trip Contest! This year, applicants answered three short essay questions which explored the seven cooperative principles that electric co-ops were founded on, leadership qualities they value, and what being part of an electric cooperative means to them. The essays were blind judged by MVEA’s Education Committee, which is comprised of members of the MVEA Board of Directors.
Kianna Gray, Junior at Air Academy High School
Kianna Gray, a junior at Air Academy High School and four-time speech and debate national qualifier, is drawn to the electric cooperative principle of democratic member control. “It speaks to me because the founding ideals of democracy uphold a just organization.” When asked about the qualities a good leader has, she shared that “The qualities of a good leader are not simply the ability to influence others, but the character to lead others to a better path that betters society as a whole.” In addition to speech and debate, Kianna works on her leadership skills while participating in student government and as co-president of the school’s American Sign Language honor society.
Diya Suri, Junior at Palmer Ridge High School
Concern for community is not only a cooperative principle, but also a concept that Diya Suri, a junior at Palmer Ridge High School, puts into practice. With a goal to help elementary students who were reading below grade-level due to pandemic-related challenges, she created the Elevate Readers Club, which enables high school students to run book clubs at elementary schools. “What started as a program created due to concern about the community, is now helping dozens of kids rediscover their love for reading.” An accomplished student leader, Diya is president of her school’s National Charity League, a varsity swimmer, and active in speech and debate.
Reagan Massey, Sophomore at Falcon High School
Reagan Massey, a sophomore at Falcon High School, compared the founding of an electric co-op to that of our nation and the importance of democratic member control. “The founders of Mountain View Electric Association demonstrated self-reliance and acted not only to help themselves, but their friends and neighbors,” she said. Reagan is active in her church, 4-H club, and a talented cross country and track athlete. She feels “A good leader should be able to recognize the talents and skills of others and put them in a place where they can grow.” She also shared a valuable approach to life that is wise beyond her years: “I do my best to treat everybody like they are somebody.”
John Moritz, Junior at Palmer Ridge High School
“A good leader is a person who strives to develop themselves and others in ways that would encourage action, innovation, and strategic thinking,” shared John Moritz, a Palmer Ridge High School junior with a goal to attend the Air Force Academy. John has put these words into action through an internship at Tri-Lakes Cares, his success in FBLA competitions and as a student athlete in 2 sports. He was inspired by the cooperative principle of voluntary membership. He wrote in his essay, “Support for a variety of people allows for the inclusion of countless diverse and intelligent opinions…being founded on this principle shows the dedication these businesses have towards their communities and the organizations they support.”
The first and second place winners have chosen to receive an all-expenses-paid, week-long trip to Washington, D.C., for Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in June with high schoolers from cooperatives across the nation. The third and fourth place winners have chosen to attend Colorado Electric Educational Institute’s Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp in Clark, Colorado, in July. They will join students from Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming to improve their leadership skills and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.
Thank you to all students who submitted applications for MVEA’s Youth Leadership Trip Contest. For more information on MVEA’s Youth Programs, visit our Youth Programs page.