VICE Essay Guidelines and FAQ

VICE Essay Guidelines and FAQ

What is VICE Conference?

Each spring, the Virginia Cooperative Council sponsors an Institute on Cooperative Education, a youth leadership conference for up to 64 Virginia high school students. Local students from A&N Electric Cooperative’s service area are eligible to attend. The objective of the conference is to educate youth about the unique cooperative form of business. The conference is hosted by the Virginia Cooperative Council and is held at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Va. Students who preform well at the VICE Conference are eligible to win a number of scholarships at the conference and could be selected to represent the state at the NICE Conference later in the year.


How do I apply for VICE Conference?

It is very easy to apply.  Up to four local students will be selected  to represent the cooperative during the VICE Conference through an essay contest. Essay entries must be typed and be a minimum of 150 words in length. Choose from one of the following topics:

“What are the Benefits of the Cooperative Model of Business to the Eastern Shore?”

Due to COVID-19, essays can be submitted directly to the cooperative by filling out the VICE Conference Application and Essay Form.

If you have any questions, please email Jay Diem, VICE Conference Coordinator or call 787-9750, extension 356.

More information on the VICE Conference.

VICE Conference Qualifications

  • VICE attendees must be 16-19 years old as of July 1, 2021
  • Complete and submit the VICE Conference Application Form before Dec. 4
  • Completed essay submitted prior to the Dec. 4 deadline
  • Live within the cooperative’s service territory

NOTE: This year the cooperative will select the top two essays submitted to join students who qualified last year to attend the conference, but were unable to due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The VICE conference takes place in spring of 2021.


History of Electric Cooperatives                 

In the mid-1930s, nine out of 10 rural homes did not have electricity.  Rural America was dependent on agriculture for economic growth as factories and businesses preferred to locate in cities where electricity was easily acquired.  For many years, the power companies ignored the rural areas of our nation. This began to change with the passage of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act in May, 1933. This act authorized construction of transmission lines to serve farms and small villages with electricity at reasonable rates. President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933 and promised to provide federal assistance to accomplish rural electrification. On May 11, 1935, Roosevelt signed an executive order establishing the REA. By 1953, more than 90 percent of America’s farms had electricity.


What is a Cooperative?

A cooperative is a private, non-profit corporation owned by its consumer-members. Each consumer is a member with one vote in the affairs of the cooperative. Governed by an elected board of directors, an annual meeting is held to conduct the business of the cooperative. Rates are established through the board and approved through The State Corporation Commission, a Virginia regulatory agency. Any revenues that exceed expenses are “margins” which are returned back to the member owners in the form of capital credits. This return maintains the non-profit status of the cooperative.