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Youth Leadership Congress



Every summer, Oakdale Electric Cooperative (OEC) offers a fun, educational and unique all-expense paid event that is planned by and for teenagers . . .  the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association's Youth Leadership Congress (YLC).  Students attending YLC also have a chance to compete for post-high school educational scholarships from OEC and the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association (WECA).


The annual Youth Leadership Congress is a dynamic three-day event for youth leaders across Wisconsin to develop their leadership skills while learning about the purpose, operation, and scope of cooperative businesses.

What will you do at YLC?

  • See what makes the cooperative business model different and successful and apply this knowledge to fun and challenging cooperative activities.
  • Work together with other youth leaders from around Wisconsin to demonstrate the power and value of cooperation.
  • Identify and develop your own leadership skills.
  • Learn some of the important history that has shaped today’s cooperatives.
  • Discuss cooperative careers with professionals in the industry.
  • Be entertained and challenged by highly acclaimed motivational speakers who understand teens and explore topics important and relevant in your life.
  • Experience college life at a University of Wisconsin campus!

What makes this conference different?

  • This is a by-teens, for-teens cooperative leadership conference! It is planned and developed by a youth board elected at the previous year’s event.
  • Students spend three days on a college campus and experience a typical college environment, complete with living in the residence halls, attending sessions throughout campus, and even experiencing UW–River Falls’ dining service. (Hint: Do NOT miss the ice cream!)
  • Finally, attendees elected to the youth board will not only plan the next conference their way; they also have the opportunity to attend the annual National Rural Electric Cooperative Association National Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., the following June!

Who can apply?

  • Oakdale Electric Cooperative will sponsor up to six students per high school to attend the 2019 YLC at UW-River Falls, July 24-26, 2019. 
  • Student must be a son or daughter (or under legal guardianship) of an active member of OEC residing in the same household.
  • Student must be entering his/her senior year of high school in the fall 2019 at one of our 12 area high schools: Brookwood, Mauston, Necedah, Nekoosa, New Lisbon, Pittsville, Reedsburg Area, Royall, Sparta, Tomah, Wisconsin Dells, and Wonewoc.

What does it cost?

  • All registration costs are covered by Oakdale Electric Cooperative, including transportation to and from UW-River Falls.


  • Registration materials are available at each respective high school guidance office beginning in March. 
  • The high school is responsible for selecting their student representatives. 

More Info




The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has brought high school students to Washington, D.C. every June since the late 1950's. Over 1,500 young people and their chaperones from across the nation participate each year through their local electric cooperatives. Students can earn this unique opportunity if elected to the Wisconsin Youth Board by their peers during the YLC. Youth Board members also develop and plan the next year's YLC.



If you have any questions about the Youth Leadership Congress or the Oakdale Electric Cooperative Student Scholarship Program, please contact Deana Protz at 608-372-4131 or 800-241-2468 or send an email.


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