Abbi Eckstein, Beaufort, was among the 109 high school students from across Missouri who participated in the Missouri Electric Cooperative CYCLE (Cooperative Youth Conference and Leadership Experience) program.

The conference was held July 12-14, in Jefferson City.

Eckstein was sponsored by Missouri Institute of Cooperatives (MIC), Columbia.

She was selected to attend CYCLE as part of the Union FFA Chapter’s success in MIC’s Create a Cooperative Contest. Danielle Blair is the chapter adviser.

Each year in July, an action-filled three days provides high school students opportunities to learn first-hand what it is like to be involved in politics, the cooperative form of business and being a leader.

The program included nationally known speakers and a day at the Missouri State Capitol learning how a bill goes through the process to become a law.

To learn more about electric cooperatives, the group was divided up into teams that competed in various events like the “build a cooperative” game.

Another highlight was hearing from the Rachel’s Challenge Organization.

Rachel Scott was the first student killed in the Columbine High School tragedy April 20, 1999.

Today, her family and friends speak to youth around the world about Rachel’s legacy of being a positive role model to everyone she met in life.

The CYCLE program is in its 14th year and is a recipient of the National Community Youth Service award for the top youth program among all electric cooperatives in the country.