After a two year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Umatilla Electric Cooperative is eager to announce that two local high school juniors have been chosen as the cooperative’s delegates for an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C., this June. Elizabeth Doherty and Hailey Gardner, both from Hermiston High School, have been chosen to represent UEC on a weeklong trip to the nation’s capital this summer to celebrate the 2022 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.
UEC’s 2022 Youth Tour delegates will represent Oregon and the Northwest, and will join more than 1,500 other students from across the United States for the once-in-a-lifetime trip. During the course of the visit and trip, Elizabeth and Hailey will visit famous historical sites, meet with Oregon’s congressional leaders, and learn valuable leadership skills. The students will also create podcasts and digital photo projects as they learn about electric cooperatives and current issues in energy and climate change legislation that face their communities and the United States.
Elizabeth has been involved in FFA, competing in more than 30 competitions and winning numerous honors. She is an FFA Chapter Star Farmer, which is awarded to the member with outstanding experience in production agriculture. In addition to her involvement with FFA, Elizabeth helps as a herd manager at her family farm and has recently expanded her business ventures to marketing, packaging and shipping of prime cuts to customers around the United States. After high school, she would like to study to be an ophthalmologist or an oncologist.
Hailey has been dedicated to academics and athletics during her tenure at Hermiston High School. She is varsity captain of the girl’s swim team and participates in track. In addition to athletics, Hailey is a member of the National Honor Society and FCCLA, the entrepreneurship club. Hailey has also been involved with the Hermiston Lions Club and Festival of Trees. After high school, Hailey plans to pursue a career in Civil Engineering.
Says Robert Echenrode, CEO & GM at UEC, “We are excited to have this opportunity available to the youth in our communities again. It’s a program that we hold in high regard at UEC. We are proud of all those who submitted applications and wish to thank all for being standout young adults across our region.”