Two local high school students recently returned home from a life-changing, leadership trip to Washington, D.C.. Lowndes County High School students, Anna Kate Davis and Colson Lee, were among the 105 high-achieving students in Georgia that attended the 2012 Washington Youth Tour. Davis is the daughter or Rusty and LeAnne McCall. Lee is the son of Michael and Jody Lee.
More than 1,500 young EMC members from 43 states attended this year’s conference. Outstanding students such as Davis and Lee were selected by Colquitt Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) through an application and interview process.
According to Georgia EMC Youth Tour Director Gale Cutler, the purpose of the Youth Tour is to help EMCs promote stronger communities and a stronger nation by giving as many young people as possible the ability and desire to make meaningful, lifelong contributions to their communities.
As for the civics lesson provided during the trip, the group’s first “class” came in the form of a visit to the Little White House in Warm Springs, Ga., where President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945, and the retreat where many of his important decisions as president were formulated, including the plan to bring electricity to rural America.
In Washington, a key moment occurred when students participated in personal visits with Georgia’s congressional leaders Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and U.S. Reps. John Lewis, John Barrow, Lynn Westmoreland, Paul Broun, Austin Scott and Rob Woodall. They were encouraged to question their legislators on issues affecting them, their families, their peers and their communities.
Other highlights included a stop at the new Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, a Toby’s Dinner Theater production of the Wizard of Oz, a cruise on the Potomac River and tours of the Smithsonian Museums, National Archives, Washington National Cathedral, the Supreme Court, U.S. Capitol, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, and the WWII, FDR, Jefferson, Lincoln, Korean and Vietnam Veterans memorials.
Historically, the Washington Youth Tour has been a joint effort of local EMCs such as Colquitt EMC, statewide co-op associations such as Georgia EMC in Tucker, Ga., and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, based in Arlington, Va. For nearly five decades, EMCs have sponsored 50,000 young people who have made the pilgrimage.