EmPOWER Youth Leadership Program

The EmPOWER Youth Leadership Program will be canceled for the 2020-2021 school year.

This was a difficult decision for Sioux Valley Energy, knowing that so many students look forward to taking part and gaining valuable leadership and personal growth experience. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is financially impacting many of the Cooperative's members and SVE is doing everything it can to reduce rate effects to them. Unfortunately, this means postponing some budget items that are considered non-essential to supplying electric power.

Sioux Valley Energy's EmPOWER Youth program is no ordinary program. More than 200 area high school students have taken part and more than $20,000 in scholarships have been awarded since the program's inception in 2014.

The program teaches students about the cooperative business model; provides training on career success; helps students build self-confidence; and gives them hands-on experience with leadership. 

Each year, the program is planned by the EmPOWER Board of Directors, which is made up of students from the previous year. They serve as student leaders and mentors to current EmPOWER participants. They plan everything from interactive presentations to motivational speakers and life-skill sessions to ice-breaker activities. The core of the program is four sessions that occur during the school year. Students can earn points by attending the sessions and volunteerism. Those points help them earn scholarships and travel opportunities. 

The core of the program is four day-long sessions throughout the school year which include interactive workshops and motivational speakers.


Who is eligible for the EmPOWER Youth Leadership Program?

The applicants must be a high school junior during the next school year. Download the application posted below.

How Can I Apply?

Please contact Chinelle Christensen with questions at 1-800-234-1960 or email chinelle.christensen@siouxvalleyenergy.com. You can also fill out the application below.

Submit Volunteer Hours

How Can I Submit my Volunteer Hours?

EmPOWER Volunteer Form Fill out the form on this page and hit submit to send your volunteer hours.

Youth Tour D.C. Trip

Youth Selected to D.C. Trip

Sioux Valley Energy will send two EmPOWER Youth students to Washington, D.C., in June for the Rural Electric Youth Tour.

The Youth Tour is a trip sponsored by Sioux Valley Energy and coordinated by South Dakota Rural Electric Association (SDREA) and Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA).

While in Washington, the students will meet with the state's congressional delegation, visit historical sites and meet 1,500 teens from cooperatives across the United States. Sioux Valley Energy realizes it is more vital than ever that today's young people understand and support the rural electrification program, for they are tomorrow's leaders and consumers. Sioux Valley Energy will provide funding for the trip to include all transportation costs, lodging, meals and entrance fees to sightseeing or entertainment events. The student will be responsible for anything beyond those items such as snacks and souvenirs. Some of the sites they will be visiting include Lincoln Memorial, Washington National Cathedral, the Air and Space Museum, Washington Monument, Arlington Cemetery and many more. For more information about the experiences please visit www.youthtour.org.

Who is eligible for the Youth Tour?

The applicants must be a high school sophomore or junior participating in the Sioux Valley Energy EmPOWER Youth Leadership Program.

What are the dates of the Youth Tour?

South Dakota & Minnesota travels in June every year.

How Can I Apply?

If you would like more information on the EmPOWER Youth Leadership Program please contact Chinelle Christensen at chinelle.christensen@siouxvalleyenergy.com.

What is the Government-in-Action Youth Tour?

Every June, as many as 1,500 high school students from across the country spend a week in the nation's capital as part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. The students are sponsored by electric cooperatives – cooperatives that are committed to educating America's rural youth about America and the role electric cooperatives play in developing strong rural communities.

Participating in the Youth Tour is an awesome way to learn about this great nation, develop leadership skills, gain a better understanding of electric cooperatives, and make friendships that will last beyond the week!

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