Each summer, WCEC sponsors local high school students on a fun-filled yet educational trip to Washington, D.C. The Government-in-Action Youth Tour is a weeklong, all-expenses-paid trip to the nation’s capital held each year in June. Students selected for the trip will join more than 150 other teens from Texas and some 1,900 from across the U.S. on this trip of a lifetime.

The trip starts with registration and orientation in Austin, then delegates fly to Washington, D.C. for a week of guided tours at historic sites, museums, and congressional offices, where they meet with their U.S. representatives. Entertainment opportunities on the trip include seeing a performance at the Kennedy Center and going on a dinner and dancing cruise on the Potomac River. Participants also attend Youth Day, hosted by NRECA, for a day of learning and inspiration. 


The student must be between the ages of 15 and 19 and must have completed their sophomore year of high school prior to the trip. The parent or legal guardian of the student must be an active residential member of Wharton County Electric Cooperative.


Applicant must submit a fully completed application as well as a 500-word essay or 5-7 minute video presentation covering the selected topic.


  • Must be able to participate in the Youth Tour trip to Washington, D.C. 
  • Must be able to ride in a car or bus for up to 12 hours (with breaks) in a single day.
  • Must be able to fly in an airplane.
  • Must be able to (and agree to) reasonably assist WCEC in presentation/promotion of the Youth Tour program and WCEC, including promotion at the annual membership meeting in June.
  • WCEC reserves the right to select the runner up or another contestant for the Youth Tour Trip if the winner is found to be a poor representative of the Youth Tour program.
  • The winner’s guardian must give WCEC written permission and a waiver of release for the winner to participate on the Youth Tour.
  • The winner will be covered by Youth Tour’s insurance from home and back.
  • All essays/videos become the property of Wharton County Electric Cooperative, Inc.


The application for the Government-in-Action Youth Tour is posted in the Fall each year. Generally, the applications are due by the first of February and the winner(s) is announced soon after. 

When the application process is opened, the application will be posted here.

To have the application emailed to you when it is posted, join our Youth Tour Mailing List!