What could 900 words do for you?


Each summer, Gibson Electric sends a group of high school juniors to spend a week exploring Washington, D.C., learning about government and cooperatives and developing their leadership skills.

This opportunity is made possible through a strong partnership with area high schools and educators.

Students selected for the trip are winners in Tennessee’s 2024 Cooperative Creative Writing Competition,
where they write 900-word essays about the importance of electric cooperatives.

Not only do students have the opportunity to win an expense-paid trip to D.C., but they also have the opportunity to win a share of $16,000 in scholarships from Gibson Electric and the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. Two Tennessee universities—Union University and Carson Newman University—will award scholarships to winners of the writing contest.

“Our commitment to community is what sets cooperatives apart from other businesses,” said Gibson Electric and Gibson Connect President and CEO Dan Rodamaker. “The Washington Youth Tour is one
way we show students that their co-op is more than their electricity provider. We genuinely care about the prosperity of our communities, and that includes providing special opportunities for these exceptional students and preparing them for future success.”

Gibson Electric’s program coordinator, Sarah Williams, is currently visiting schools, making presentations about the Washington Youth Tour and writing competition.

If we are not in your school yet, we’d like to be! Ask your principal or English teacher to consider participation. Meanwhile, if you know a high school junior who is a talented writer, encourage him or her to participate. That student could be just 900 words from the trip of a lifetime.

Home-schooled students can call their local Gibson EMC member service center and ask to speak with Sarah Williams to receive contest materials.

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