Carroll EMC Provides Students with Opportunity to Lead and Learn in Our Nation’s Capital
(Left to Right) Rebekah Rooks, of Carrollton High School, Hannah Pless, of Villa Rica High School and Anna Handley, of Central High School represented Carroll EMC during the 2018 Washington Youth Tour.
Carroll EMC is proud to have sponsored Anna Handley, of Central High School, Hannah Pless, of Villa Rica High School and Rebekah Rooks, of Carrollton High School this year for the Washington Youth Tour, a weeklong leadership trip to D.C. for exemplary students made possible by local cooperatives across the state, including Carroll EMC.
The Washington Youth Tour kicked off with a banquet in Atlanta on June 7 before 113 delegates and 16 adults, including Carroll EMC’s delegates, traveled to Washington D.C. The second week in June, the EMC delegates from Georgia joined 1,800 other ambitious students from around the nation as they all experienced America’s history, met with our elected officials, toured historical sites, and built friendships.
This trip offers high school students a unique opportunity to gain leadership skills while learning about some of the most talented leaders in American history. The learning experience on the Youth Tour differs from the classroom as students not only grow in academic understanding, but they also develop people and “soft” skills.
According to Taylor Key with Carroll EMC, this trip challenges students and gives them a greater appreciation for how our nation began and the ability to evaluate the role that they play in improving it.
“The Washington trip revealed itself as an opportunity not only to experience the rich history and future of our nation but also acknowledge the fact that we play the largest role in this future,” said Rooks.
The Washington Youth Tour has been remembered as “the trip of a lifetime” by many alumni and is not to be missed by any student seeking leadership opportunities and what makes our country function. Pless encourages high school students saying, “To me the Washington Youth Tour was more than a trip to our Nation’s Capital. It gave me the opportunity to visit the places I’ve heard about in my history book and make lifelong friends.”
During this eventful week the delegates visited Mount Vernon, the National Archives, the Smithsonian Museums, the Washington National Cathedral, the U.S. Capitol, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial and U.S. Air Force Memorial, the Library of Congress and Arlington National Cemetery. The group also took a guided tour of the MLK, FDR, Jefferson and WWII memorials. In addition, the students enjoyed a performance of “Newsies” at Toby’s Dinner Theatre and a riverboat cruise with delegates from other states.
Not only did the students see our nation’s capital, but they also heard from U.S. representatives and met Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson. This interaction impacted Handley as she recalls, “The Washington Youth Tour not only taught me more about the exceptional individuals who have helped to shape the history of my nation; it allowed me to meet and form bonds with those in my community, who I know will become the great leaders and history-makers of our nation’s future.”
Finally, at All-States Youth Day, a program sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, students were brought together from all over the nation to hear from public figures and other featured speakers. This day allowed students to see the impact of electric cooperatives on their communities back home.
The Washington Youth Tour has made a way for more than 50,000 students from rural areas across the country to experience our nation’s capital. This trip has had lasting effects on students as many have gone on to serve in local and state government and at the national level as well.