Three Rivers area students get chance to tour nation’s capital

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published May 26, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated May 24, 2013 at 12:10 p.m.
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Nick Hillemann

Brianna Hooker, left, and Caitlyn Crowder, both juniors at Heber Springs High School, will participate in the upcoming Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C.

Peaking in popularity in the 1970s and ’80s, Schoolhouse Rock! sought to teach various lessons to youths gathered around televisions to watch Saturday-morning cartoons. One episode of this program featured the song “I’m Just a Bill,” a catchy ditty about a Bill lamenting all he had to endure on his journey to Washington, D.C., to become a Law. Well, a trip to the nation’s capital will be an easier task for three students in the Three Rivers Edition coverage area.

On June 15, three high school juniors from Heber Springs and North Pulaski high schools will embark on a journey to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Their participation is sponsored by First Electric Cooperative. The students will be in Washington until June 20.

The three juniors, who will be part of 1,500 students from across the country, will learn about electric cooperatives, tour historic sites and museums, and meet a member of the Arkansas congressional delegation, according to a news release from First Electric Cooperative.

Emily Long from Jacksonville said she is anxious to see the U.S. capital city for the first time.

“I was so excited because I love history and getting to learn about it,” Long said.

Of the 1,500 students who will be in Washington, 44 are representatives from First Electric and 16 other Arkansas electric cooperatives, said Tori Moss, communications coordinator for First Electric Cooperative.

Locally, 30 students applied to First Electric to go on the all-expenses-paid trip, but only three were chosen to attend.

Long, who is no stranger to being a leader, said the tour will offer her yet another leadership opportunity.

“I’m the vice president of the school, the secretary of the senior class, and I’m running for president of the National Honor Society,” Long said. “I’m excited to meet new people and learn more leadership skills.”

Brianna Hooker and Caitlyn Crowder, juniors at Heber Springs High School, will also take the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.

Hooker, who lives in Tumbling Shoals, said she also has never been to Washington, D.C., or traveled by plane before.

“I’m really excited about visiting all of the monuments while we’re there,” Hooker said.

Hooker said she enjoys learning about U.S. history and the people who have made an impact on the country. She is a member of the yearbook staff and Future Business Leaders of America at Heber Springs High School.

Crowder, from Heber Springs, said she is excited about meeting new people from across the country. She is involved with BETA Club, the Spanish Club, FCCLA and Interact club and is a member of the Heber Springs High School dance team.

“I’m going to learn networking skills,” Crowder said.

While Crowder has been to Washington before, she said she wants to encourage other students to apply for the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.

“Not many people get the chance to go to Washington, D.C., for free,” Crowder said.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at

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