Forty-six high school students representing 15 electric cooperatives around South Carolina spent three days in the Columbia area July 26-28 on the first statewide Cooperative Youth Summit.
Broad River Electric sponsored Emma Kate Moore of Dorman High School and Avery Goff of Boiling Springs High School on the trip. Youth Summit attendees got an introduction to co-ops and the cooperative business model.
They visited the Statehouse, where government relations staff from the state association of electric cooperatives explained co-ops’ lobbying efforts on behalf of their members. They met a judge and a legislator, toured the Richland County C&D Landfill’s gas-to-energy facility, went to Riverbanks Zoo, and enjoyed a catered dinner at the historic Robert Mills House.
One of the tour’s highlights came when a quick chat with Gov. Henry McMaster turned into an impromptu 45-minute personal visit and tour of the governor’s office.
The students operated their own Soda Pop Co-op during the trip. At the end, they were surprised to learn that, by doing business the cooperative way, they had earned $3 per person as their capital credit refund.
“The Youth Summit trip really opened my eyes to the amazing complexity of our state government,” Moore stated in a note to the cooperative. “Who would’ve thought that I would have been able to take a picture with our Governor.”