Special Photo Jackson EMCis 2013 Washington Youth Tour Delegates, from left to right: Jordan Tyler, Jefferson High School; Allison Walls, Flowery Branch High School; Missy Johnson, Dacula High School; and Logan Allen, Chestatee High School.
JEFFERSON -- Four high school students have been selected by Jackson EMC to spend a week in Washington, D.C., this summer for national Rural Electric Cooperative Association's annual Washington Youth Tour.
Missy Johnson of Dacula High School, daughter of Kenneth and Deborah Johnson of Dacula; Jordan Tyler of Jefferson High School, son of Gregory and Gena Tyler of Hoschton; Allison Walls of Flowery Branch High School, daughter of Mark and Julie Walls of Buford; and Logan Allen of Chestatee High School, son of Connie Allen of Gainesville, will be among 105 Georgia high school students during the event set for June 13 to 20 with stops in Georgia and Washington, D.C.
The WYT competition allows the cooperative to recognize and reward emerging leaders in area high schools who are well-rounded and have the desire and/or experience as proven leaders, in their schools and their communities.
Applicants excel 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.
The competition began with 46 high school counselors and educators, in Jackson EMC's service area, selecting a student to compete for a spot on the leadership trip of a lifetime. The field was eventually narrowed to 10 finalists who then had in-person interviews before a panel of judges, with the four winners earning the top scores.
According to Randall Pugh, Jackson EMC president/CEO, the Youth Tour is an opportunity for exceptional students to meet face-to-face with members of Georgia's congressional delegation and visit historical points of interest in Georgia and the nation's capital.
"Making the pilgrimage to D.C., with an emphasis on the nation's rich heritage, is something many adults, and certainly high school-aged students, never experience," Pugh said.
"Particularly during their formative years, the trip opens them up to possibilities they otherwise may not have considered. When you add personal tours of the memorials and monuments, and stories of sacrifices made by others, the Youth Tour offers a history lesson that can't be learned from any textbook or classroom."
The trip involves stops in Georgia and D.C. and includes historic attractions such as the Little White House in Warm Springs, and D.C. landmarks including the Smithsonian Museums, Holocaust Museum, Mount Vernon, Supreme Court, Capitol, Washington Monument, and the FDR, Jefferson, World War II and Lincoln memorials, joining more than 1,500 of their peers from across the country.
As Georgia's oldest and most prestigious 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 1965, encouraged electric cooperatives "to send youngsters to the nation's capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents."
Jackson EMC is a consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services, serves more than 208,400 members in portions of 10 counties, including Banks, Barrow, Clarke, Franklin, Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison and Oglethorpe counties.
Frank Reddy writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.