COOPERATIVE YOUTH CONFERENCE & LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE (CYCLE)

Cuivre River Electric CYCLE Delegates Visit Missouri State Capitol

Published: July 22, 2016

 

Jefferson City, MO – One hundred twelve high school students from across Missouri recently participated in the Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience (CYCLE) program held July 20-22, in Jefferson City. Local delegates sponsored by Cuivre River Electric Cooperative (CREC) were Elizabeth Skelly, Francis Howell Central HS; Meagan Turner, Lutheran HS; Emily Kurtz and Hadley Poole, Timberland HS; Chloe Momphard, Troy Buchanan HS; and Audrey Hahn (Homeschool).

 

The CYCLE program is conducted by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) and is a recipient of the National Community Youth Service award presented by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association for the top youth program among all electric cooperatives in the country. Since 2004, AMEC has hosted more than 1,000 high school sophomore and junior students from Missouri’s 47 electric distribution and transmission cooperatives.

 

The three-day program provided an action-filled experience for the students, offering them opportunities to learn first-hand what it’s like to be involved in politics, community service, today’s pressing issues, the cooperative form of business and being a leader. Highlights included a special educational session in the Missouri House Chamber at the Missouri State Capitol to discuss the process of local, state and national government.

 

“These students are an example of the many talented people who live in Missouri. I am pleased that these students are aware of the importance of staying active, involved in community projects and leaders in their respective high schools,” said U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer. “I’m extremely proud of each of the students, and I’m glad they had an opportunity to visit the Missouri State Capitol to expand their knowledge and develop as future leaders.”

 

“By engaging youth through the CYCLE program, electric cooperatives are helping to teach important skills to new generations of young citizens who will help our communities and nation grow,” said CREC Communication Specialist Lonnie Tucker. “Cuivre River Electric has sponsored and provided more than 60 local high school students with a continued focus on youth leadership and educational opportunities at CYCLE since the program began in 2004.”

 

The CYCLE delegates attended educational seminars and learned about cooperative business principles, electricity, American and Missouri history and competed in a variety of leadership and team building events. Highlights included keynote speeches from Rachel’s Challenge, founded by the father of Rachel Scott who was tragically killed in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. The CYCLE delegates were challenged to make a positive difference in their schools and communities.

 

Cuivre River Electric Cooperative is the largest consumer-owned electric distribution cooperative in Missouri. It provides service to more than 62,500 residential, business, commercial, industrial and agricultural members in Lincoln, Pike, St. Charles and Warren counties. For more information on the CYCLE program and Cuivre River Electric Cooperative visit www.cuivre.com or call (800) 392-3709, ext. 4837.
COOPERATIVE YOUTH CONFERENCE & LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE (CYCLE)

Wanted: High School Sophomore For Leadership Conference. Cuivre River Electric Cooperative (CREC) seeks high school sophomores in Lincoln, Pike, St. Charles and Warren counties for the Cooperative Youth Conference & Leadership Experience (CYCLE) program.

 

Local teachers may nominate sophomores to serve as CYCLE delegates, or students may apply independently. Students are asked to complete an CYCLE application and submit a narrative about their school activities and community service.

 

Applications are available on this web page, at Cuivre River offices, and at participating high schools beginning March 1. Entries will be accepted through April 27. A panel of judges will select six delegates.

 

CYCLE delegates will receive an all-expense paid trip to Jefferson City, July 20-22, 2016 to participate in the CYCLE program conducted by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives (AMEC). The CYCLE program is in its 13th year and is a recipient of the National Community Youth Service award for the top youth program among all electric cooperatives in the country.

 

The program is an action-filled experience which gives students the opportunity to learn first-hand what it’s like to be involved in politics, learn about community service, the cooperative form of business and lifetime leadership skills. The program includes a day at the Missouri State Capitol learning how a bill goes through the process to become a law.

 

A highlight was hearing from the Rachel's Challenge Organization (RCO). Rachel Scott was the first student killed in the Columbine High School tragedy. Through RCO her family and friends speak to youth around the world about her legacy of being a positive role model to everyone she met.

 

“By engaging youth through CYCLE, electric cooperatives help teach important skills to new generations of young citizens who will help their communities and nation grow,” says Lonnie Tucker, who coordinates Cuivre River’s participation. “Students learn to make good decisions and develop a positive outlook about public service,” adds Tucker. For more CYCLE information visit www.cuivre.com or call (800) 392-3709, ext. 4837.


2016 CYCLE Application (PDF File)

WHAT IS CYCLE?

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 20-22, 2016.

 

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 1 through April 27.

 

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.

 

Cooperative Knowledge

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.

 

Keynote Speakers

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!"

 

Leadership Development

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.


2016 CYCLE Application (PDF File)