During the Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperative’s Youth Day, March 29, in Springfield, more than 240 students from around Illinois had an opportunity to visit the state capitol, view state government in action and question their legislators on key issues.
“Elected officials always enjoy the opportunity to meet with students and learn first-hand some of their concerns, especially in this current political climate. Many of the issues debated in the Illinois General Assembly affect their future,” said Duane Noland, President and CEO of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC).
During lunch, Comptroller Susana Mendoza addressed students and chaperones and challenged them to take an interest in the political process and encouraged them to use their voices and reach out to their representatives and senators. Sophia Marcolla, the 2016-17 Illinois Youth Leadership Council Representative from Adams Electric Cooperative, spoke about her experience on the Youth to Washington tour and the importance of leadership. While in Springfield, the students also visited the Old State Capitol and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
Youth Day is designed to introduce young rural leaders to state government. There were 25 co-ops from across the state represented at the event.