Tuesday December 1st, 2015 3:08PM

Students from Gainesville, Duluth, Jefferson set for leadership trip

By Ken Stanford Reporter
JEFFERSON - Jackson EMC has selected Ian McGaughey, Jackson County Comprehensive High School, son of Kenneth and Margaret of Jefferson; Zac Adams, Peachtree Ridge High School, son of Eric and Melissa of Duluth; Michael Smith, Mountain View High School, son of Ben and Linda Sawyer of Lawrenceville; and Betsy Barrett, North Hall High School, daughter of Jeff and Theresa of Gainesville were selected to attend the 2014 Washington Youth Tour. That is a fully paid leadership trip sponsored by 38 of the electric membership corporations in Georgia.

As Georgia's oldest leadership program for teens, the Washington Youth Tour is designed to teach students about U.S. history, the role of democracy, the importance of community and public service, and the need for civic leadership and service.

The trio will be among 109 Georgia high school students participating in the event set for June 12-19 beginning with stops in Georgia then moving to historic sites and other events in Washington D.C.

While in D.C., the Georgia delegation will join nearly 1,600 Youth Tour participants from co-ops across the country.

According to Randall Pugh, Jackson EMC president/CEO, the Youth Tour is an opportunity for exceptional students to personally interact with members of Georgia's congressional delegation and visit landmarks 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 Pugh.

"With tours of museums, memorials and monuments, the trip provides a history lesson that can't be learned from any textbook or classroom in Georgia."

The trip includes historic attractions such as the Little White House in Warm Springs, and D.C. sites such as 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."

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