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Co-op sponsors students to Youth Leadership Conference

2013 YLC attendees were: front, from left: Alyssa Dunn, Maria Mishek, Brittany Haas, Sophia Koch; back; Pagie "Ela" Engen, Emily Sorenson, Katherine Stark, Jordan O'Malley, Kelsey O'Malley, Kyle Kurrelmeyer, Rachel Voelker, Emelia Rohl. Not pictured Kaija Warner. Submitted photo.

Local high school juniors and seniors were among about 130 teens from Wisconsin who participated in the 50th Youth Leadership Congress (YLC) at the UW-River Falls campus on July 10-12.

Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services (PPCS) sponsored 13 students who attend high schools in Ellsworth, Prescott, River Falls and Spring Valley to this milestone event, a co-op tradition since it began in 1964. Those attending from this area included: Ellsworth High School, Kyle Kurrelmeyer; Prescott High School, Emelia Rohl, Rachel Voelker; and Spring Valley High School, Sophia Koch.

During the three-day event, students participated in team-building exercises, leadership workshops, learning sessions, and presentations on cooperative history, organization and principles. YLC attendees had the opportunity to experience campus life, make new friends and hear firsthand the important role of young leaders in schools and communities.

The YLC is a fun, educational and unique event planned by the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association Youth Board, a group of six elected each year by their peers.

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.

For 50 years, the WECA Division of the Cooperative Network, Wisconsin’s electric cooperatives, and the UW-River Falls have co-sponsored this event to demonstrate to high school students the basics of cooperatives and how they can apply the ideals and philosophies of cooperation directly to their lives.