The annual DEMCO essay contest is underway through Jan. 21.

The contest is open to high school juniors in DEMCO’s seven-parish service area: Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and West Feliciana.

Students must submit an original essay in the form of a letter addressed to a political leader about a topic of concern and importance to the student. Entries can be submitted online at demco.org/community/demco-essay-contest-youth-tour by Jan. 21.

After an initial round of judging, 12 semifinalists are selected to give an oral presentation of their written essay. Four students win an all-expense-paid trip to participate as DEMCO delegates at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's Rural Electric Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., from June 17-24.

David Latona, vice president of marketing and member services, said, “DEMCO delegates attend Youth Tour to learn about electric cooperatives, American history and U.S. government. The trip is fun but also very educational. A highlight of the trip is when our delegation meets with their representatives in the House and Senate.”

To learn about the history of the Youth Tour, visit demco.org/essay-contest/history. To listen to other Youth Tour delegates about their experiences, visit demco.org/youth-tour-essay-contest/youth-tour-experiences.