BEMIDJI -- Area 16- and 17-year-olds can enter the Paul Bunyan Communications Essay Contest for a chance to attend the 2020 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., with all expenses paid by Paul Bunyan Communications.

Students interested in attending the June 6-10 tour need to submit a short essay, no more than 500 words in length, on why they would like to attend the tour. Students must be 16 or 17 years of age and in high school with their parent/guardian a member of Paul Bunyan Communications Cooperative.

Entries can be dropped off at the Paul Bunyan Communications office in Bemidji or Grand Rapids, or they can mailed to Paul Bunyan Communications Essay Contest, 1831 Anne St. NW, Bemidji, MN 56601.

The deadline for entries is Friday, March 6.

The trip features a comprehensive overview of the telecommunications industry, including careers in telecom, the critical role telecommunications plays in rural America, and how legislative and regulatory decisions affect the industry, according to a release. The tour allows youth to meet with members of Congress who represent rural constituents. They also participate in educational sessions about the Federal Communications Commission. Students visit some of the nation’s most historic sites, including Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian Museums and a night tour of the capitol building.

This is the 24th consecutive year that Paul Bunyan Communications has participated in sending a local high school student to the tour, the release said.