youth rally

Youth Rally & Scholarship Program

For high school students of OPALCO members

Apply now

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Sophomores and Juniors of OPALCO member households can apply for the $1,000 scholarship that include a week representing our community at the ICUA Youth Rally, a co-op leadership camp at the College of Idaho and up to an additional $1,100 in scholarship money.

Program rules



  • Contest is open to all high school sophomores and juniors, or the equivalent, whose parents or guardians are members of Orcas Power & Light Cooperative and presently receive electric service from OPALCO.
  • Contestants must currently be attending school or an alternative program at a San Juan County high school.

Application Process

  • Application must be submitted online no later than April 24, 2024.
  • Finalists are selected for a personal interview and the three winners chosen based on that interview. During the interview, students may be asked to talk about their own interests and goals and about the following topics:
    • How does OPALCO deliver power to 20 islands? Where does the power come from?
    • What makes an electric co-op different from other types of utilities?
    • Discuss three important energy issues that may affect you in the next 5-10 years.
    • Why should you represent OPALCO at the Youth Rally?
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  • Winners agree to represent OPALCO at the Youth Rally July 8-13, 2024 at The College of Idaho in Caldwell, ID. All travel, lodging and food expenses will be paid by OPALCO. Chaperones are provided.
  • Winners agree to collaborate on a report of their Youth Rally experience to be presented to the Board in December. This report may be shared with OPALCO members and other high school students.
  • Winners agree to act as Ambassadors of OPALCO in their schools and to help promote the Youth Rally & Scholarship program.

Youth Rally Application

Fill out this online application on the ICUA website.

Apply now

2024 Timeline

April 24, 2024
Application due to OPALCO
April 26, 2024
Finalists notified by email
May 2, 2024
Personal interviews
May 3, 2024
Winners announced
July 8, 2024
Travel to The College of Idaho
July 13, 2024
Return to Seattle and home
December 19, 2024
Winners present a report of their experience to the OPALCO Board

Pictures from the Youth Rally!

Youth rally
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Youth rally
youth scholars 2022
rope swing
youth rally 2022
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Nourdine Jensen served on the OPALCO Board for 37 years, from 1965 to 2008. Jensen was a long-time boat builder and former Friday Harbor town councilman, school board member and Port Commissioner. Sepia portrait of Nourdine JensenHe believed in the cooperative model as a way to bring reliable, affordable electricity for the rural islanders of San Juan County.

In that spirit, the Nourdine Jensen Cooperative Youth Program was established to educate our youth about public power electric co-ops and to give them the opportunity to expand their horizons and to develop leadership qualities. Nourdine’s family continues to support the program.

For more information, contact


  • Submit an application before the deadline.
  • Study to get to know your co-op.
  • Come to the interview prepared and well groomed.
  • Have a genuine interest in this opportunity

OPALCO makes all travel arrangements. Participants and OPALCO chaperones travel by air from Seattle to Boise and then travel by rental car to the College.

All complete applications are considered. A review committee made up of OPALCO members from throughout the islands selects up to nine finalists based on their application. Finalists are invited to a personal interview with the review committee. The interview covers topics such as personal goals, community involvement and knowledge of your local electric co-op. Sample questions are on web: opalco-community/youth-rally-scholarship/.

The Youth Rally promotes an understanding of the utility industry and in particular, public power. Students learn leadership, teamwork, cooperation and communication skills. The Youth Rally is sponsored by the Idaho Consumer-owned Utilities Association (ICUA). Each student selected to represent OPALCO will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship. While at the Rally, all students are eligible to compete for additional scholarships given by our hosts ICUA (up to $1,100).

Develop leadership and communication skills and make new friends through:

  • Electric co-op speakers and presentations
  • Field trips to state capitol and local sites
  • Networking with students and faculty from Alaska, Oregon, Wyoming & Idaho
  • Water park, social dances, roller-skating, bowling, volleyball, talent show

Finalists are notified by email no later than April 27, and given an interview date and time on May 1st. Winners are notified by email no later than May 5th.

The Youth Rally takes place on the campus of The College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho. It is six days of fun-filled activity: July 10-15, 2023. Participants stay in college dorms.

Students representing rural electric co-ops from western states – including Alaska. Electric co-op industry leaders and speakers.

High school sophomores and juniors of OPALCO member households.