FIFTY-FIVE high school students from across the state visited Columbia in July to see how electric co-ops are preparing for the future. They toured renewable energy sites, the state capitol complex, explored careers in the energy industry and rode in electric cars. Palmetto Electric sponsored four students on the S.C. Cooperative Youth Summit:

Mark Martel, son of Juliana and Paul Martel, from John Paul II Catholic School.

Chynna Sneed, daughter of Jerrold Sneed and Camila Ellison, from May River High School.

Lizzy Stinson, daughter of David and Kelly Stinson, from May River High School.

Alexis Tuten, daughter of Valerie and Avery Tuten, from Step of Faith Christian Academy.

In its third year, the Youth Summit included visits to Newberry Electric Co op’s Community Solar farm and the capitol complex. Students visited Mid -Carolina Electric Co-op in Lexington, learning about line work, taking bucket truck rides, observing pole-climbing demonstrations and hearing of co-op career opportunities. They also assisted members of the community outreach group Women Involved in Rural Electrification in filling bags with personal items for students in need for the annual Kids Closet event.

The Youth Summit ended with students taking rides in electric vehicles (EVs)—a Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3. They also learned the science behind EVs. Palmetto co-sponsors the Youth Summit to demonstrate the Cooperative Principle of Education and Information for members— including future members!

Pictured left to right is Mark Martel, Lizzy Stinson, Chynna Sneed and Alexis Tuten

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