High school sophomores have an opportunity to participate in a leadership program this year. Cuivre River will choose six 10th grade students to participate in Missouri's Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience, also known as CYCLE, in our state capitol July 15-17, 2015.
Local teachers are invited to nominate sophomore students to serve as CYCLE delegates, or students may apply independently. In addition to an application, sophomore students are asked to submit a narrative about their school activities and community service. Applications are available below, at Cuivre River offices, and at participating high schools. Entries are accepted March 2 through April 30.
What is CYCLE?
The CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) Program is a three-day conference held in Jefferson City, Missouri. Over eighty-eight high school sophomores and juniors will receive invitations to attend this year’s prestigious youth conference. The CYCLE Program brings together some of the brightest young leaders from across Missouri each year, and provides these students with a truly unique and exciting leadership experience.
National Community Service Community Investment Award
The Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) CYCLE Program received the National Community Service Community Investment Award from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in 2014. This esteemed award honors AMEC’s commitment to youth development through programs that help young citizens learn about electric power, develop leadership skills and make contributions to their communities through a variety of activities that emphasize electric cooperatives and the cooperative business model.
CYCLE Program Information
Each summer, CYCLE delegates gather, for three days of activities and discussion sessions focused on electric cooperative history, state government and leadership skill development.
The delegates hear presentations from guest speakers, work on special team projects, and experience the state legislative process first-hand. Discussion topics include electric cooperatives and their member-owners, government organization, and general community issues.
During the CYCLE session, students meet staff at the AMEC offices, where there is an orientation about the cooperative business model presented by employees who know the rich history of electric cooperatives and the industry's future. The students hear about how the first electric cooperative members signed up, how the first lines were strung on the poles, and how the electric cooperatives have evolved into the high quality systems of today.
Teamwork & Team Challenges
At the start of the CYCLE conference, students divide into teams in which they work to complete a set of challenges. In keeping with CYCLE theme, the team that wins a challenge will receive the highly coveted Yellow CYCLE Lanyard. Each delegate on the challenge winning team will receive and wear the Yellow CYCLE Lanyard, like the contestants in the Tour de France bicycle race, until another team wins the ensuing challenge. The challenges test each team's knowledge of electric cooperatives and their recall of information presented by the various conference speakers.
One of the challenges requires the teams to use a box of supplies to build a model of an electrical system to show how electricity gets from the generation plant to a consumer, and then explain how the system works. The competition is judged by a Statewide line crew instructor. Another challenge requires the students to compete against each other in a trivia game based upon Missouri history and facts.
CYCLE Program Exclusive Tours
The conference highlights are a personal guided tour of the Supreme Court of Missouri and the Missouri State Capitol Building. CYCLE delegates will also attend a special CYCLE session in the Senate and House of Representatives Chamber.
Supreme Court of Missouri
The delegates had the distinct pleasure of meeting Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice Mary Rhodes Russell. Chief Justice Russell provided the delegates with an educational look into the rich history and role of the Supreme Court of Missouri.
She explained in great detail how the Supreme Court's role is to ensure a stable and predictable system of justice by serving as the final arbiter of disputes involving the state's constitution and laws.
As such, it hears and decides many of the most important – and often the most controversial – legal issues affecting Missouri citizens, businesses, organizations and even factions of government.
Missouri State Capitol Building
Before going to the Capitol Complex, delegates get an introduction to Missouri’s history and legislative process. They hear a brief presentation from speakers with experience in government service on how electric cooperatives and their grassroots advocate legislative positions before the General Assembly.
The tour of the Missouri State Capitol Building featured a special visit to the Governor's office. The delegates also visited the Missouri State Museum, stood under the 238 foot dome in the Rotunda, viewed the numerous Thomas Hart Benton murals, paintings, pediments and friezes that decorate the Capitol interior.
Senate and House of Representatives Chamber
The delegates then attend a special CYCLE session held in Senate and House of Representatives Chamber. This exclusive event gives the delegates a rare hands on experience of a lifetime, as they become the General Assembly.
The delegates are divided into their groups and must present their CYCLE Bills to their General Assembly for approval. The CYCLE Bills the delegates present to their General Assembly always lead to a debate between the groups. AMEC CYCLE Speaker of the House, Mike Marsch, will lead the delegates through the legislation process of the CYCLE Bill.
CYCLE delegates will attend keynote presentations by state legislatures, Missouri Senators, Representatives and Supreme Court judges. Seminars from business leaders with Fortune 500 companies like the Walt Disney Company, and motivational speakers like Olympic Gold Medalist and Author Mike Schlappi will present influential leadership programs.
Mike Schlappi's thought-provoking keynote presentation challenges individuals of all ages that despite difficult circumstances, you can take responsibility and be empowered. His engaging presentations have entertained and inspired audiences worldwide. From students to chief executive officers, from the classroom to the boardroom, from rookies to Olympic athletes, from small gatherings to large corporate events, Mike shows audiences "If You Can't Stand Up, Stand Out!"
Missouri electric cooperatives are helping their youth to understand the cooperative principles, learn to make good decisions, and develop a positive outlook about public service. By engaging youth through the CYCLE program AMEC and its members are helping to teach important skills to new generations of productive citizens who will help their communities and nation grow.
The Future Leaders
Youth are the future. Impacting the lives of the youth of today is extremely important to the cooperative community. The mission of the youth programs sponsored by local electric cooperatives is built on the belief that textbooks and lectures alone are not enough to help students understand the democratic process and gain the skills necessary to become tomorrow's leaders.
Rather, today's teenagers also need an opportunity to experience government first-hand by visiting our state and nation's capital, meeting their Representative and Senators and engaging in interactive workshops and discussion. By educating students and enhancing their self-worth, AMEC and Cuivre River Electric Cooperative hope to promote and inspire responsible and informed participation in the democratic process - in essence, ensuring a stronger future for everyone.