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Area students sharpen leadership skills at YLC

Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services was proud to sponsor area high school students to the Youth Leadership Congress at the UW-River Falls campus July 26-28. Eight area students joined about 120 other teens from Wisconsin for the event.

Attending this year's congress were Jasmine Place (Ellsworth High School); Cade Budworth, George Wazlawik and Erik Zielinski (Prescott High School); and Nikolas Blaubach, Nathan Fuller, Sylvie Parks and William Tuchtenhagen (River Falls High School).

Understanding the cooperative difference and identifying traits of leaders were just two of the topics to highlight the 54th YLC. Students participated in team-building exercises, leadership workshops, learning sessions, and presentations on cooperative history, organization and principles. Attendees learned about the basics of cooperatives and how they can apply the ideals and philosophies of cooperation directly to their everyday lives. These young leaders also got a taste of campus life, made new friends and heard firsthand how they can make a positive impact in their schools and communities.

The YLC is a fun, educational and unique event that is planned by the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association Youth Board, a group of six students elected each year by their peers. Tuchtenhagen was elected to the Youth Board and will represent PPCS and state-wide cooperatives at various events and meetings. The Youth Board has the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. as part of the National Youth Tour, where they continue to learn about cooperatives and government. The Youth Board will also plan and execute the Youth Leadership Congress for 2018.

Students who participated in the YLC are also eligible to earn scholarships from WECA and PPCS. To qualify for scholarships from PPCS, students must also be entering their senior year of high school and their parents or guardians must be members of PPCS.