Pointe Coupee Electric sponsoring writing contest at local high schools

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

Pointe Coupee Electric Membership Corporation (PCEMC) is sponsoring a contest for high school juniors to win a trip taking them to Washington D.C. to meet hundreds of students from all areas of the United States, meet their congressman, tour historical sites and have lots of fun with all expenses paid. 

Students can win the trip by entering our writing contest.  The contest winners will have the opportunity to attend the NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association) “Government in Action” Youth Tour Conference held June 14-21, 2013 in Washington D.C. and the ALEC (Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives) Leadership Conference held March 26-28, 2013 in Baton Rouge.

The contest deadline is January 18, 2013 and is open to all high school juniors whose parents/guardians are members of PCEMC or to all high school juniors who attend the following schools in Iberville, Pointe Coupee and West Baton Rouge parishes: Plaquemine High School, St. John the Evangelists High School, MSA-West, Pointe Coupee Central, Livonia High School, False River Academy, Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee and Port Allen High School.

Information has been sent to the high school principals and 11th grade English and History teachers.  If you are an 11th grade student and need more information, ask your principal or 11th grade English and History teachers about the contest.   If any of the schools listed above are not participating in the contest, Pointe Coupee Electric members who have 11th grade students may submit their essays directly to PCEMC.

Students must write a formal letter approximately 500 words to an elected official.  The elected official may be local, state or federal.  The letter must be in formal letter format, typed and double spaced and may be on any subject that the student chooses to discuss.  In the letter the topic of concern should be stated and thoroughly discussed and the letter should be addressed to the respective official.  This is an opportunity for the youth to express their opinions.  Once the letter is completed the following information should be included on a separate sheet of paper:  full name and age of student, parent’s/guardian’s names, address(es) and telephone number(s), name and address of school, sponsoring teacher’s name (if applicable), and list of all school/community clubs and extracurricular activities.

 Please send essays to Pointe Coupee Electric Membership Corporation, Attention:  Joanie Bishop, P.O. Box 160, New Roads, LA  70760 or deliver to 2506 False River Drive in New Roads.  Deadline is January 18, 2013 and contestants should keep a copy of their letters.  Letters will not be returned and may be published at the discretion of PCEMC.

Preliminary selection will consist of a judging committee who will select three finalists from each parish (Iberville, Pointe Coupee and West Baton Rouge).  The preliminary winners will advance to the final selection and will be notified by mail and telephone.  The final selection will be judged by a second committee who will meet with the finalists at the Youth Tour Banquet.  The final judging will be based on the written assignment (50%), personal interview (30%) and oral presentation of the letter (20%).

First place winners, one from each parish will represent Pointe Coupee Electric, their schools and the state of Louisiana in Washington, D.C. next June.  NRG Louisiana Generating is also participating in this educational program and will sponsor the next three students with the overall highest scores. These three students will win the all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. as well. For more information please contact Joanie Bishop at (225) 638-3751 or (800) 738-7232.