• Local students to attend Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp


    Selected high school juniors are sponsored by La Plata Electric

    Four area students have been selected by La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) to attend the 2013 Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp. LPEA will sponsor Rachael Bennett (Durango High School), Eli Kopp-DeVol (Animas High School, Durango), Patrick Pistor (home-schooled, Bayfield) and Jessica Tanner (Connections Academy, Pagosa Springs) for the educational/leadership experience at Glen Eden Resort, set for July 14-19, 2013.

    Each summer, the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp brings together approximately 100 high school students selected by electric cooperatives in Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming to learn about the organization and operation of a cooperative, as well as to build leadership skills designed to assist students in meeting future challenges.

    “As a past chaperone at the Leadership Camp I had the opportunity to really see some of these young leaders in the making, and it’s really inspiring,” said Ray Pierotti, LPEA project specialist. “The camp is an extremely valuable learning experience for our youth.”

    Rachael Bennett, nominated to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum and a US Achievement Academy award recipient in Foreign Language, looks forward to studying East Asian international relations with a goal of working in foreign diplomacy or as a translator for international businesses.

    In her winning essay on leadership, Bennett noted, “The characteristics of humbleness and humility would have to be involved, as well as giving credit to others… these traits seem to be the things that make a good, or rather great leader, for they help to create a person who doesn’t put themselves first and someone who would seem to be more grounded.”

    The co-president of Student Council and volunteer with the Stillwater Foundation, Eli Kopp-DeVol plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in music performance, as well as visit all the world’s continents.

    Kopp-Devol’s winning essay summarized, “The best kind of leader… is one that can take a leadership role in a situation that neither they, nor anybody else, understand. It takes a special kind of person to show confidence and strength in a situation about which they may be unsure.”

    Active in computer programming and web and video game design, Patrick Pistor looks forward to college and post graduate studies in computer science.

    As Pistor noted in his winning essay, “A good leader can change the way a person thinks, acts, and reacts to situations… Leaders can change people for the good, or for the bad. John C. Maxwell, a Christian author, sums up leadership by simply saying: Leadership is influence.”

    Jessica Tanner is a budding writer and active 4-H club member who looks forward to becoming a published novelist.

    Tanner concluded her winning essay that examined Abraham Lincoln with, “Every leader is different and a good, true leader knows how to do the right thing even when it is the hardest thing to do. I want to be a good leader; someone people can look up to even when times are hard – like Lincoln.”

    To learn more about the opportunity to participate in the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp contact Jeannie Bennett, jbennett@lpea.coop or 970.382.3505, or visit www.lpea.coop.

    LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with nearly 41,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible.

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