Dahlia Dorn and Amanda Fogelberg were selected as Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative’s delegates for the 2023 Youth Tour of Washington, D.C. June 15 – 21. Dorn is a 2023 graduate of Webster High School and Fogelberg is a 2023 graduate of Osceola High School.
Our local delegates will join more than 1,500 high school students from co-ops across the country at Youth Tour this month 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) and the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association (WECA), with local sponsorship by Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative.
To be selected as Polk-Burnett’s Youth Tour delegates, Dorn and Fogelberg demonstrated community service, and wrote essays about the value of cooperatives in our community and why they want to represent their local electric co-op for the Youth Tour of Washington, D.C.
Dorn is the daughter of co-op members Ron and Charissa Dorn. She will attend the University of Wisconsin River Falls this fall, where she plans to study elementary education. Her Youth Tour application included community service at her school, packing food for Feed My Starving Children, volunteering in the kindergarten classroom and distributing food through National Honor Society. She also helped with youth activities at Larsen Family Public Library in her hometown of Webster and assisted with Bible School at her church. In 2021, Dorn traveled to Louisiana to help repair homes damaged in a hurricane.
In her essay, Dorn wrote that she would like to visit Washington, D.C. to improve her leadership skills and meet with other leaders from around the country. She said she would also gain a better understanding of our government and what our flag represents to people in rural communities.
About the value of cooperatives, Dorn wrote that electric co-ops provide power to heat our homes in winter and enable us to function as a society. Without electricity, “we wouldn’t have phones, TVs, radios and other devices for communication… Today’s society would crumble and chaos would occur. Our electric cooperatives serve and protect our community by providing a necessity, which values our health, safety, comfort and families.”
Fogelberg is the daughter of co-op members Hank and Stephanie Fogelberg. She will attend the University of Wisconsin La Crosse this fall, where she plans to study business management. Her Youth Tour application included community service for Feed My Starving Children, working at her school store and helping with summer school. She also volunteered for her church, serving at the lutefisk dinner and the Polk County Fairgrounds food stand.
In her essay, Fogelberg wrote that she is interested in learning about politics and history, as well as meeting like-minded high schoolers while in Washington, D.C.
About the value of cooperatives, Fogelberg wrote, “Cooperatives are vital for communities to thrive… and to support inclusion and acceptance of all members…” She shared examples of a food co-op helping senior citizens with dedicated shopping hours during the pandemic, eliminating single-use plastic bags and sourcing local foods. “Cooperatives bring equality for all, sustainable practices and equal opportunities to communities.”
“Polk-Burnett is pleased to support youth leadership opportunities for the children of our members, according to our cooperative principles,” said General Manager Steve Stroshane. “We congratulate both of these fine students and know they will represent our co-op and community well.”
Polk-Burnett’s Youth Tour program does not affect electric rates; it is funded with unclaimed Capital Credits that would be forfeited to the state if not used for education, and by the generosity of members who donate their Capital Credits. Learn more about Youth Tour and see how you can donate your future Capital Credits to support co-op scholarships and Youth Tour.