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Kay Electric Cooperative’s Annual Youth Tour Banquet wrapped up on the evening of March 23. This year’s theme “Share a subject in which you are passionate about.” Area juniors took the topic and ran with it. They shared their passion about America’s history, sports, FFA projects, hobbies and other awesome topics.  

Halie Schovanec of Garber and Joseph Jantzen of Medford, were the big winners. Schovanec and Janzten will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. this summer. Taylor Algrim of Blackwell High School and Dustin Nagel of Garber High School won all-expense-paid trips to the Cooperative Youth Leadership Conference in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Cash prizes were awarded to Celia Roth and Nicholas Glasgow of Tonkawa High School and Chelsea Schuster and Matthew Yunker of Medford High School. “These eight finalists did an amazing job presenting their essays and answering questions from our judges,” stated Austin Partida, KEC’s youth tour coordinator. “I know their parents and teachers were very proud of them as they all represented their schools very well.” 

The essay contest is open to high school juniors from Blackwell, Braman, Newkirk, Shidler, Deer Creek-Lamont, Ponca City, Garber, Billings, Tonkawa, Frontier and Medford. A third-party judge, who judged the written essays on content, originality, grammar and neatness, chose the eight finalists. The top four boys and four girls with the best essays were invited to attend the Youth Tour Banquet to present the essays in speech form and answer three questions from the judges. Judging the contest were Laurie Wedd of Eastman National Bank, Jared Grell  of Bancfirst and Traci Thorpe with Pioneer Technology Center. 


KEC has been sending local high school juniors to Washington, D.C., since 1963. 

“KEC’s Youth Tour Banquet allows KEC employees, directors, school faculty, parents and most importantly, the students to come together for a special evening,” Partida said. “All of the finalists are a winner, whether it’s the D.C. trip or a cash prize.”

Schovanec and Jantzen will have the opportunity to compete at the state level for the coveted Oklahoma Representative on the Youth Consulting Board for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in June. Roth and Nagel will have the chance to be selected as an Oklahoma Ambassador for the multi-state camp.

KEC’s Youth Tour program is an annual contest. Essay entries open in January and the banquet is held in March. 

KEC also has an eighth grade contest. These six students will be attending YouthPower Energy Camp in May: Zane Price and Ashton Linton of Tonkawa and Paige Frickenschmidt, Lakin Todd, Jennifer Beebe and Andruw Hoopes, all of Garber.

Kay Electric Cooperative is committed to delivering safe, reliable, competitively priced services and energy to its member-owners, while being an outstanding community partner.