Karley Patterson of Davidson High School and Kaden Bergt of Vernon High School have been named winners of Southwest Rural Electric Association’s 2014 Youth Tour Contest.
As Youth Tour winners, Karley and Kaden will receive all-expense-paid trips to Washington, D.C. this summer with delegations of other co-op students from their respective states.
Karley is the daughter of Jeff and Dana Patterson of Manitou.
Kaden is the son of Kevin and Kim Bergt of Vernon, Texas.
During their trip to Washington, D.C., the two Texoma youth will visit the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the capital city’s many memorials and museums, and Arlington National Cemetery. They will also have the opportunity to visit with numerous elected officials.
Runners-up in the contest are Faith Roady of Frederick High School, and Joshua Gribble, Crowell High School. Faith is the daughter of Charles and KK Ade of Frederick. Joshua is the son of Teddy Gribble and Tamara Gribble, Vernon.
As runners-up, Faith and Josh will have the opportunity to represent SWRE at the 2015 high school Touchstone Leadership Summit to be held next January in Oklahoma City.
Other 2014 contest finalists are Hunter Kurek, Chillicothe High School, son of Shannon and Erik Miller of Chillicothe and Erik Kurek; Laramie Malson, Blair High School, daughter of Lynn and Jody Safford of Blair; Michael Meyers, Vernon High School, son of Scott and Nancy Meyers, Vernon; and Levi Muller, Navajo High School, son of Matt and Kellie Muller, Altus.
All finalists have received certificates and cash prizes.
The SWRE Youth Tour Contest is open each year to all 11th grade students who live or attend school in the SWRE service area.
Students were required to write a 500-750-word essay on the topic “Electricity – A Force in our Society.”
The annual SWRE Youth Tour Essay Contest for high school juniors is an annual tradition that began in 1964.
More than 100 essays were received this year from students in eight Texoma schools.
Essays were evaluated to determine eight finalists – four from Oklahoma and four from Texas schools. The eight finalists were invited to a March 25 event at SWRE headquarters in Tipton to present their essays as extemporaneous speeches for a panel of judges who determined the contest winners.
Southwest Rural Electric Cooperative is a non-profit member-owned electric utility that serves a 6,000 square mile area in 11 counties of north Texas and southwest Oklahoma. It was organized in 1937, and maintains its headquarters in Tipton.