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Washington Youth Tour

Sumter EMC is proud to have sponsored Southland Academy students Anna Kate Ivey and Tyler Joyner as delegates on the 2019 Washington Youth Tour (WYT).  

The WYT is a weeklong leadership experience exclusively for teens sponsored by the electric cooperatives in Georgia, including Sumter EMC. From June 13-20, Anna Kate and Tyler were part of a Georgia contingent that included 115 student delegates, 13 chaperones and three tour directors. Following a kickoff banquet in Atlanta for the delegates and their families, the group departed the next morning for Washington, D.C.

In the nation’s capital, they joined 1,800 of their accomplished and ambitious peers from across the country to learn the importance of civic engagement, tour national historic sites and gain valuable leadership skills they can utilize in their communities.

Meeting delegates with different backgrounds and life experiences gave them a broader perspective and deeper appreciation of the world at large. “With a firm commitment to enriching our future, the purpose of the Youth Tour is to help EMCs develop our state’s most precious resource, our youth,” says Andrea Walker, Vice President of Marketing and Administration with Sumter EMC.

In Washington, D.C., Youth Tour stops included Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Capitol, National Archives, National Cathedral and the Smithsonian museums. The students also visited the revered Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, MLK, World War II, Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans memorials. They had dinner one evening at Toby’s Dinner Theatre, where they saw the play “Grease.”

In addition to taking in the sights of the nation’s capital, students gained perspective on some of today’s important issues and their role as involved citizens. Everyone was able to engage with staff and/or members of Georgia’s congressional delegation and visit with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, a former governor of Georgia.

Finally, all state groups convened for All-States Youth Day, sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, to learn from public figures and other inspirational speakers. Nearly 50,000 students from rural areas and small towns across America have participated in this program. Some Youth Tour alumni have gone on to design airplanes, lead companies and serve in the highest ranks of government, including the U.S. Senate. Many more serve in state and local government.

The WYT makes a lasting impact on all who attend!  Click on the links to read about the Washington Youth Tour through the eyes of Anna Kate and Tyler Joyner's inspiring Washington Youth Tour experience.


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