Youth Tour Essay Contest

Youth Tour Essay Contest

Platte-Clay participates in a national program that allows rural electric cooperative students an opportunity to earn a trip to Washington, D.C., by writing an essay on a topic determined by the co-op.The annual contest usually is administered by local high school teachers who make the essay contest a class project, although students may enter independently if their school does not participate. Once the essays are turned in, they are reviewed anonymously. Top-ranked entrants then are notified they are among the finalists.

The six finalists present to a group of community leaders with the top two winning a trip to Washington, D.C., and the third place student “on deck” in the event one of the first two students is unable to make the trip. The remaining four students earn a trip to Jefferson City, Mo., for an award-winning leadership conference called Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience, or CYCLE.

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Information on the annual essay contest will appear in the pages of the co-op’s newsletter, the Northland Connection.


Youth Tour Essay Contest Rules

1. Student Eligibility
This contest is open to any high school junior who attends school in Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative’s service area or whose parents are members of the cooperative. Children of directors and employees of Platte-Clay are not eligible to participate.

2. Writing Content
Contestants are to submit a typed essay of approximately 600 words, not to exceed 750, on a specific topic generally having to do with rural electrification, to be determined by Platte-Clay.

On a separate cover sheet, attached to the essay, please include the following:


  • Name and address
  • Telephone number home and mobile
  • Email address

Parents / Guardian

  • Names and addresses
  • Telephone numbers – day / work  and evening / mobile
  • Email addresses


  • Teacher’s name
  • Telephone number
  • Email address(es)

It is important that students DO NOT put their name on the essay.  Platte-Clay will code the essay so that they can be judged anonymously.

3. Writing Assignment Delivery and Deadline
Essays are to be mailed or delivered to:

PIatte-Clay Electric Cooperative
P.O. Box 100
Kearney, MO 64060
Attn: Youth Tour Coordinator

Essays must be received in the co-op office no later than the given due date by 5 p.m. Late entries will not be accepted.

4. Judging
The essay contest will consist of two parts, written and an oral presentations. First, the written essays will be reviewed with the top six selected for the finals.

5. Finalists
The students with the top six scores on the written portion of the contest will be asked to present their essays orally before a panel of judges at the Platte-Clay office in Kearney. The two students with the highest combined written and oral scores will be Platte-Clay Electric’s delegates to the Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., in June.

The remaining four finalists will each receive a  memento and a cash prize.  Plus, these four students will have earned an expense-paid trip to Jefferson City to an award-winning leadership conference, held in July.

6. Reference material
Reference material is available on the web and in community and high school libraries. Please don’t hesitate to call 816-628-3121 if you have any questions or e-mail

7. Delegate Duties
The Youth Tour winners may be asked to promote the contest to local organizations and to attend the co-op’s annual meeting as a Youth Tour representative.

Scoring on Written Portion

Knowledge of Subject – 40%
Understands the basics of the rural electric program from the resource material available.

Originality – 30%
Writing assignment shows thought beyond the facts given in general resource materials.

Composition – 10%
Writing assignment is composed in an organized format.

Grammar – 10%
Words, sentences and paragraphs follow the standard rules of grammar.

Neatness – 10%
Essay is typed or computer generated without messy corrections.

Scoring on Oral Presentation

Knowledge of Subject – 30%
Understands the basics of the rural electric program from the resources.

Originality – 25%
Presentation shows thought beyond the reciting of facts.

Speaking Ability – 25%
Student is able to speak clearly, has some eye contact and expression.

Organization – 10%
Essay is composed in an organized format.

Presentation of Self – 10%
Neat appearance, positive attitude and poise will be considered.


Youth Tour Essay Contest 2018

The theme of the 600-750 word essay or 2-3 minute video is “What it means to be a servant leader.”

Essays must be typed, double-spaced, approximately 600 words, or about two pages typed. Videos should be 2-3 minutes long and may be .mov, .wmv, .mp4 or .mpeg, limited to 1 GB and posted on YouTube. Deadline for the essays or videos is January 25.

The essay will need to include the Youth Tour Contact Information sheet. For videos, please send in a sheet, along with the name and location of the YouTube video. Please include a slate at the end of the video.

All essays must have a completed Youth Tour Contact Information Sheet clipped or stapled to the essay. The essays will be judged anonymously, so please only number the pages and do not put your name on each one.

If you have questions, please submit them using the form below.

Thanks for your interest and good luck.

See and hear what other students have to say about Youth Tour Videos below.


Youth Tour Videos