• Area high school students to visit Washington DC courtesy of LPEA

    Juniors Tate Hinger, Collin Jackson, Isaac Jordan, Jesse Laverty and Sloan Mazur selected

    Area high school students Isaac Jordan of Ignacio, Collin Jackson and Sloan Mazur of Bayfield, and Jesse Laverty and Tate Hinger of Pagosa Springs have been selected to represent La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) as part of the National Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington D.C., scheduled for June 8-15, 2017.

    “This trip is a tremendous opportunity for our area juniors,” said Mike Dreyspring, LPEA CEO. “Our communities, as well as the country and the world are facing many challenges in the energy arena, and the industry is changing, so it’s important that our next generation gains an understanding about energy policy development at the federal level. We are pleased to be able to further that education.”

    Students completed an application and penned a 500-word essay covering an aspect of the electric industry of their choice. Excerpts of the winning students’ essays are included below.

    LPEA’s student representatives will join juniors from the cooperative’s sister electric co-ops across Colorado for the experience. The schedule includes an intimate look at the U.S. Capitol and the government from the inside, including discussion of current concerns with national and state Congressional representatives. Tours of Washington D.C.’s monuments and museums, plus social activities, are also part of the itinerary.

    In his essay, Animas High School junior Jordan Isaac lauded educators, explaining, “Teachers and educators are the secret heroes, they push the next Albert Einstein, Nicola Tesla or Steve Jobs to be curious, problem solve, think critically and pursue their dreams.”

    Collin Jackson, a junior at Bayfield High School, noted in his essay, “It is undeniable that the advent of electricity has revolutionized modern civilization and had a major influence on modern life. Without electricity… much of the technology taken for granted today simply would not exist.”

    Bayfield High School junior Sloan Mazur observed that the source of power is changing. “So while much of our energy still comes from coal-fired plants, coals’ share will continue to fall as I become older. Perhaps the next generation will be able to use completely renewable-based power source, and the price of renewables will continue to fall…”

    Tate Hinger, a junior at Pagosa Springs High School, discovered the difference between an investor owned utility and a rural electric cooperative, writing, “I admit that before I looked into the co-op difference I took the electricity I use every day for granted… LPEA has impacted me more than I could explain just by providing something as simple as electricity.” 

    High school junior Jesse Laverty of Pagosa Springs, reflected on those who launched and work in the industry, “…from a larger perspective (I) have come to realize that these men and women who work for the electric utility industry are the backbone of this country, without them our world would be flipped upside down.”

    The opportunity to participate in the D.C. Youth Tour is open to all current high school juniors, including home-schooled students, who receive their electric power from La Plata Electric Association.

    Applications for the 2018 Washington D.C. Youth Tour will be available in November 2017 at LPEA’s offices in Durango and Pagosa Springs, through area high school counselors, or on the web, www.lpea.coop.

    LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible.