Mountain Electric Cooperative Youth Programs
Proud to be a partner in our youth’s education
MEC not only administers ongoing youth programs but can provide educational programs for nearly any class or organization that requests assistance. The following are examples of programs that are currently offered and available.
Washington Youth Tour
Each year juniors from each high school write an essay on a chosen topic about electric cooperatives. They learn all about their local coop. The winner from each high school (Johnson County, Avery High and Cloudland) joins the winners from across the United States each June in a weeklong, all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. They visit the capitol and their congressional representatives, all of the major attractions and memorials, take a boat ride on the Potomac, and spend time learning about electric cooperatives and how they function.
Youth Leadership Conference
Annually High School guidance counselors choose two juniors who have exhibited leadership qualities. The students join other students from the 23 electric coops across the state in a three-day trip to the state capitol in Nashville. They meet their state legislative representatives, visit the capitol, participate in hands-on seminars about electric cooperative functions, and see historical sites around the city.
Operation Pocket Change Grants
To apply for OPC assistance, an individual or organization must complete and submit an OPC application. There are two OPC application forms available. One for individuals and the other for organizations. They can be downloaded here or picked up at any local MEC office. The OPC board usually meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month to consider requests.
Operation Pocket Change Scholarship Applications
- OPC College Scholarship Application for High School Seniors/ First Year College Students
- OPC College Scholarship Application for 2nd to 4th Year College Students
4-H Electric Camp
Each June our sixth, seventh and eighth grade 4-Hers join students from across the state in Knoxville at the UT Campus where they discover the world of electricity through hands-on learning centers. These centers include electrical wiring, power outage safety, electric vehicles, other electric safety; computer generated home energy analysis, and energy efficiency.
Electrical Safety Classes
Each year we are available to go into each elementary school and teach the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classes about electrical safety inside their homes as well as at school and at play. We also teach them about electrical generation, and basic electrical concepts. They always enjoy the free safety coloring books and gifts that we provide.
In Concert with the Environment
We partner with our middle schools and provide the materials and resources for teaching the 7th grade science classes about energy sources, and the wise use of them. The classes help each student to evaluate their own homes energy use and how they can wisely save energy and live in concert with the environment. The classes also encourage recycling and wise use of our transportation systems.
High School Science Classes
We go into the science classes each year and give instruction on principles of electrical generation and discuss energy source options. The students are introduced to the pros and cons of each energy used as it relates to cost, environment, and availability, etc. We also stress how to live wisely in our environment as it relates to their lifestyles. We discuss our involvement with pollution control devices and concerns as we balance our cost efficiency and environmental issues in the electrical industry.
We participate in each schools effort to educate students about opportunities in the workforce. Our employees take some of their work gear, bucket trucks, pamphlets and brochures as they explain the employment opportunities of the electrical field. Our booths and bucket truck rides are always the highlight of the day for most students.