Since President Lyndon Johnson was in office, each year three lucky essay contest winners whose parents or guardians are CTEC members are awarded a 9-day tour of Washington D.C. They join about 100 other cooperative-sponsored youths from all over Texas to visit our nation’s capital in June to see our government in action. Details of the contest are made available at each school district within the service territory and announced in Texas Co-op Power magazine.This is the 47th year of the Government-in-Action Youth Tour. Participation is open to high school students that have completed their sophomore year by May 2012. Students whose parents or guardians are members of CTEC are eligible. This year, two of the three winners are sophomore students at Mason High School: Caroline Hudson and Price Ruffin.All expenses for the tour (except personal items such as souvenirs etc.) will be paid by the Co-op for the three winners of the essay contest. Local winners will join youths from throughout Texas on June 14th in Irving, Texas, depart on June 15th for Washington D.C., and return home on June 22nd. Chaperons are provided by sponsoring Cooperatives. And CTEC even provides transportation to and from the airport in Irving, Texas.The topic of this year’s essay was “It’s 2012, and from your perspective as a high school student, what do you feel are the greatest challenges America faces in the next 10 years?” Winning essays were selected by independent judges and were judged on originality (40%), knowledge of topic (30%), composition (10%), neatness (10%), and grammar (10%).