16:03 PM

2012 Washington Youth Tour Delegates Announced

Four high school students were selected by Jackson EMC to spend a week in Washington, D.C. this summer for the state’s annual Washington Youth Tour (WYT), an all-expense paid leadership experience sponsored by the EMCs.

The WYT competition allows the cooperative to recognize emerging leaders in area high schools and further develop these qualities through the trip of a lifetime.

Harris Wilson, Hebron Christian Academy; Yanet Velazquez, West Hall High School; Isabel Edwards, Madison County High School; and Drake Corbin of Jackson County Comprehensive High School vied for the four delegate spots representing JEMC.

The competition was a challenge with 46 high school counselors and teachers in our service area tasked with selecting a student to compete for a spot on the trip. The field was narrowed to 10 finalists who then had in-person interviews before a panel of judges, with the four winners earning the top scores. The competition is designed to reward high school sophomores and juniors who are well-rounded and have the desire and/or experience as proven leaders, in their schools and their communities.

Applicants excelled in academics, extra-curricular activities, community involvement and leadership abilities. The finalists were also judged on short answer and essay questions and letters of recommendation.

Before the Georgia delegates take to the sky en route to DC, the trip includes two Georgia stops in Atlanta and Warm Springs. The first stop starts with a Statewide Dinner/Reception highlighting the achievements of the 105 participating high school students from across the state who earned the trip to our nation’s capital. Following icebreakers and teambuilding exercises, the trip moves to Warm Springs to see where rural electrification began. They’ll return to Atlanta for more teambuilding and leadership activities, and will then join more than 1,500 of their peers from across the country in Washington, D.C.

As Georgia’s oldest leadership program for teens, the Washington Youth Tour teaches high school students about U.S. history, government and the importance of public service. The tour was inspired by former president Lyndon Johnson who, in 1957, encouraged electric cooperatives to send youngsters to the nation’s capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.

“This is a trip of a lifetime for these young people,” says Randall Pugh, Jackson EMC president/CEO. “The WYT is an opportunity for exceptional students to have a backstage pass to our nation’s capital, to personally meet with members of Georgia’s congressional delegation and cement their leadership skills and ambitions.”

Delegates will visit historical sites while experiencing the high energy atmosphere in our nation’s capital.