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Osceola grads Gibbs and Wright, and Turtle Lake grad Orf to represent Polk-Burnett on Co-op Youth Tour of D.C.

Samantha GibbsSamantha Gibbs (top) and Evan Wright (middle), 2017 graduates from Osceola High School, and Connor Orf (bottom), a 2017 graduate from Turtle Lake High School, were selected to represent Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative as delegates for the 2017 NRECA Youth Tour of Washington, D.C., June 9-16.

Gibbs, Wright and Orf will join more than 1,000 high school students from across the country to learn about cooperatives, the rural electric program, U.S. history, government and democracy. They will meet with congressional leaders and tour Capitol Hill, national monuments, Arlington National Cemetery and the Smithsonian Museums. The tour is hosted by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), with local sponsorship by Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative.

To be selected as Polk-Burnett’s delegates for the NRECA Youth Tour, all three students demonstrated community involvement and wrote essays about the value of electricity.

Gibbs is the daughter of co-op members Pete and Cindy Gibbs of Osceola. Wright is the son of co-op member Robert Wright of Dresser. Orf is the son of co-op member Daniel Orf of Turtle Lake.

Evan WrightIn her essay, Gibbs wrote that she’s never been to Washington, D.C. and would enjoy the opportunity to “experience everything the city has to offer.” As a part of the Osceola Royalty Program, she said she “loves representing her community. It’s very important to me and I love everything about my hometown.”

In his essay, Wright wrote that Youth Tour would “enlighten” his dream of holding office in the state or federal legislature to improve the lives others. “I believe that we all have an obligation to our society, to do what we can to make the world better. Each citizen ought to use their skills and knowledge, their passion and compassion for the benefit of the common good.”

In his essay, Orf wrote that visiting our nation’s Capital would be an honor and meaningful.  “I know today people feel less about the government than ever before, but… the men and women who make decisions for our country have my respect… being a part of the government is a job of most importance.”

“As a rural electric co-op, Polk-Burnett is pleased to support youth leadership opportunities for the sons and daughters of our members, according to our cooperative principles,” said General Manager Steve Stroshane.

Connor OrfPolk-Burnett’s Youth Tour program does not affect electric rates; it is funded with unclaimed capital credits that otherwise would be forfeited to the state.


Samantha Gibbs, Evan Wright and Connor Orf will represent Polk-Burnett at the 2017 NRECA Youth Tour of Washington, D.C., June 9-16. Gibbs and Wright are 2017 graduates of Osceola High School and Orf is a 2017 graduate of Turtle Lake High School. 


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