The future is bright: Island students represent OPALCO at the Co-op Youth Rally

Submitted by Orcas Power and Light Cooperative.

More than 65 students representing electric co-ops from Alaska to Nevada attended the 2022 Co-op Youth Rally at the College of Idaho. The week-long event is a leadership camp and scholarship program for rural electric cooperatives and public utilities. Four high-school students from the islands represented OPALCO.

From Orcas Island High School: August Moore and Valeria Villareal; and from Friday Harbor High: McKenna Clark and Satchel Bourne. Honorable mention to Luke Fincher of Friday Harbor who was accepted into the program but was unable to attend at the last minute.

The students have a jam-packed week of learning, leadership development, team building and summer camp fun. Youth take part in classes about the electric industry, governance structures, business challenges, renewable and electrical generation as well as leadership activities and the opportunity to make connections with peers throughout the region. Each student also gets $1,000 from OPALCO to put toward their post-high-school education. OPALCO’s Nourdine Jensen Cooperative Youth Scholarship Program is supported by the family of Nourdine Jensen, a long-time OPALCO board member who was committed to supporting the youth of our island communities in learning about public power and providing opportunities to explore outside of San Juan County. Nourdine Jensen served on the OPALCO board for 37 years, from 1965-2008. Sophomores and Juniors interested in the program may apply at in early 2023.