Zachary High student Kennedy Wilcher is one of four area winners in the 2016 DEMCO Rural Electric Youth Tour essay contest.

Wilcher, along with Jessica Litloff, of Holden High School; Sawyer Welborn, of Central High; and John Wiese, of Runnels, each won an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in June.

The annual contest featured essays from students throughout DEMCO’s seven-parish service area, each writing an original essay as a letter to an elected official. Students were judged on the oral presentation of the essay and completed a brief test on their knowledge of DEMCO and rural electrification.

The Youth Tour program provides outstanding youth with an insight into how the national government operates.

The four winners were selected March 1 during a banquet at White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge honoring the 12 finalists, their families, teachers and school principals.

The other eight finalists included: Grace Bordelon and Sarah Johnson, of St. Joseph’s Academy; Hannah Cowart, Ashley Gouedy and Abigail Wootan, of Central High School; William Hartmann, of St. Michael High School; Adam Howe, of Runnels High School; and Jamie Martin, of West Feliciana High.

The four Youth Tour winners will join 25 Louisiana students on the D.C. trip in visiting the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Supreme Court, National Archives, Arlington Cemetery and many other historic buildings and landmarks. They also will meet up with 1,300 Youth Tour participants from around the nation to learn more about electric cooperatives.