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Sumter Electric Membership Corporation (SEMC) has selected three local high school students to represent SEMC on the 2023 Washington Youth Tour, which involves a week-long trip to Washington, D.C., to learn more about our nation’s capital.

Sumter EMC implemented a new application process this year to allow more students to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Students either wrote an essay or submitted a video explaining where they would like to visit most in Washington, D.C. Sumter EMC provided a study guide with information on the tour and history of the Cooperative to read in preparation for a quiz they took over the materials. 

Sumter EMC also conducted interviews with each applicant, where these students demonstrated the caliber and poise to earn them a spot on this year’s trip. As a result, Ella Hamsley, Abby Henderson, and Joshua McCain will participate in the all-expenses-paid leadership experience by electric membership corporations in Georgia, including Sumter EMC. 

Ella Hamsley is the daughter of Stacie and Keith Hamsley and a junior at Lee County High School. She is active in her school and community. Ella is part of the National Honors Society and Beta Club and an active dance team member. In addition, she served as a camp intern at Camp Invention, a STEM summer camp for kids. She also helps the staff at Easter Seals in her spare time. 

Abby Henderson is the daughter of Dee Henderson and a junior at Lee County High School. She is active in her community and cheerleading, and she loves history. Abby is involved in DECA Club and BETA Club at her school. She is also an active member of YoungLife and has been for the last three years. 

Joshua McCain is the son of Michele and Dana McCain and a sophomore at Chattahoochee County High School. He participates in FBLA, Drama Club, and the Robotics Club at school. Joshua is a member of the National Junior Honors Society. In addition, he participates in many community activities, including youth STEM outreach, child-focused theatrical performances, and FBLA fundraisers. Joshua has also worked as a summer youth camp counselor.

Every year, Sumter EMC recognizes outstanding high school students who are leaders in their schools, communities, places of worship, or academic and community organizations by providing a valuable leadership development program for exceptional teens through the Washington Youth Tour, established by America’s electric cooperatives to inspire and educate our youth. The trip is June 15-22.

During the seven-day trip, Ella, Abby, and Joshua will visit some of the most exciting tourist spots, including Arlington National Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian Institution, Mount Vernon, and more, all while being exposed to government on a local and national level. 

“We’re excited for these three students to represent Sumter EMC on the 2023 Washington Youth Tour,” said Andrea Walker, VP of Marketing and Administration. “It’s a wonderful opportunity that will allow them to network with fellow peers from across the state, explore our nation’s educational museums and monuments, and enhance their knowledge of our government,” said Walker.