Douglas County High School students Stephanie Pierre, Meaghan Shaughnessy and Maenishia Simmons, Hiram High School student Charmi Patel, and Paulding County High School student Yee Aung were selected as winners of the trip. They will be among 105 high school students during the event set for June 13-20 with stops in Georgia and Washington D.C. As Georgia’s oldest leadership program for teens, the Washington Youth Tour is designed to teach students about U.S. history, the role of government, and the importance of community and public service.
This year, 43 high school juniors from 13 schools competed to secure a spot on the trip. Candidates are student leaders chosen by counselors and staff from participating high schools. The winners earned the top scores on an exam that covered cooperatives, the history of rural electrification, electricity and U.S. government.
According to Ashley Kramer with GreyStone Power, 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 kids, never experience,” says Kramer.
“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 sacred 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 in Georgia.”
The trip will involve stops in Georgia and D.C. and include 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.
The Washington Youth 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.”
GreyStone Power serves more than 104,500 members in portions of eight counties, including Paulding, Douglas, Fulton, Cobb, Carroll, Bartow, Fayette and Coweta counties.