2017 Washington Youth Tour

Washington Youth Tour

Once a year, Jackson EMC sends rising high school juniors and seniors from our service region to represent the co-op on the prestigious Washington Youth Tour.

The trip brings together 1,500 ambitious high school students from across our nation for an incredible week in the nation's capital to develop their leadership and team building skills further. 

The Washington Youth Tour (WYT) is sponsored nationally by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and statewide by the Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (GEMC).

As Georgia’s oldest leadership program for teens, the Washington Youth Tour teaches high school students about U.S. history, government and the importance of public service. The tour was inspired by former president Lyndon B. Johnson who, in 1957, encouraged electric cooperatives to send youngsters to the nation’s capital where they could actually see what the flag represents.

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Washington Youth Tour (WYT), JEMC Promo

2017 WYT Overview

Jackson EMC will send four student delegates on an all-expenses paid leadership and team-building experience to Washington, D.C., June 8-15, 2017, where they will join approximately 1,500 other delegates for the Washington Youth Tour, sponsored by the electric membership corporations (EMCs).  

The 2017 WYT application process is now open.  You can find all the details through your high school leadership/guidance counselor’s office, on this page or by visiting www.facebook.com/JacksonEMC

2016 WYT Servant Leaders

Meet the young leaders from our community who make up Jackson EMC’s delegation on the Washington Youth Tour.  

Zachary Miles / Junior / Mountain View High School Photo of Zachary Miles, a 2016 Washington Youth Tour delegate.

“Leadership is all about serving others and keeping the people you are leading before yourself.”

Zachary writes articles for the Gwinnett Daily Post and works the anchor desk at Mountain View High School. In addition, he teaches 4th grade religious education at St. Lawrence Catholic Church. He helped build an outdoor classroom for a local elementary school. And when two high school students from a neighboring community tragically died in a car accident, he started the “Brown Bag Project” to collect spare change in brown paper bags for the family. He helped raise $692.82.  “I want to help as many people as I can to make a positive impact on the world,” he said.  Zachary is the son of Kristopher and Jennifer Miles of Dacula. He plans to study Broadcast Journalism at Notre Dame.

Photo of Elena Shao, a 2016 Washington Youth Tour delegate.Elena Shao / Junior / Peachtree Ridge High School 

“A leader’s greatest duty is to everyone else around them.”

Elena's in National Honor Society, Beta Club, took two prizes last year in the regional science fair, is first chair violin in the orchestra, CFA Leader Academy, Gwinnett Student Leadership Team, was on the team that raised $50,000 for Relay for Life, wins state-level art awards, takes multiple AP classes each semester and maintains a 4.0 GPA.  What makes her really excited is the work she does at the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta.

Photo of Spencer Sumner, a 2016 Washington Youth Tour delegate.Spencer Sumner / Sophomore / Gainesville High School

“Good leaders inspire others to reach their full potential.”

As an Eagle Scout, Spencer Sumner puts the Boy Scouting E.D.G.E. method — explain, demonstrate, guide and enable — to work in all facets of his life. To earn his Eagle award, he led a team of 20 scouts to build shelves for a homeless center so they could organize and store their donations. As a lifeguard at Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, he teaches new swimmers. Serving as president of the Chess Club, he recruits new members and teaches them the game. As treasurer of his high school class, he leads. And as a state qualifier on the varsity swim team, he is surrounded by other athletes who learn from his example of hard work and dedication.  

Georgia Warnock / Sophomore / West Hall High SchoolPhoto of Georgia Warnock, a 2016 Washington Youth Tour delegate.

“A leader doesn’t do things for themselves; they do it for others. A great leader, they see a problem, they find a solution and they step up not for themselves, but for the betterment of the lives around them.”

Georgia currently serves as principal oboe in the symphonic band, principal bassoonist in the concert band and she plays clarinet in the marching band. She also serves as Librarian for the program.  On Wednesday nights, Georgia packs bags for BackPack Love, a nonprofit ministry for kids in Hall County who need food over the weekend. She's both a high school and college student (dual enrolled), member of multiple bands, active church member, lifeguard and tutor, among other things.

Jackson EMC’s Competition Process 

The process begins with 45 high school guidance counselors and/or leadership educators in our service region selecting a student from each school to compete for one of four delegate positions. Applicants should be successful in academics, engaged in extra-curricular activities and/or community service and have demonstrated leadership potential. Applicants are evaluated on short-answer and essay questions, as well as letters of recommendation.  

A panel of business, community and university leaders will interview the top 10 finalists. The competition is designed to reward well-rounded high school sophomores and juniors with leadership potential or experience in their schools and communities. Successful delegates have demonstrated poise, articulation, tenacity, and a heart for service. 

The Washington Youth Tour 

The first activity is a statewide reception and dinner (June 8, 2017) highlighting the achievements of the 110 Georgia delegates representing their electric co-ops.  Before flying to Washington, D.C., on June 9, delegates will participate in team building activities and learn about leadership, cooperatives and the history of rural electrification.

“This is a leadership building journey for our students,” says Chip Jakins, Jackson EMC president/CEO. “The WYT is an opportunity for students with leadership potential to experience our nation’s capital, to meet Georgia’s congressional delegation and build their leadership skills.  Delegates will visit many historical sites while experiencing the high energy atmosphere in our nation’s capital.”

Since 1964, the Washington Youth Tour has given more than 50,000 students representing 640 of America’s electric cooperatives the opportunity to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Learn more at www.youthtour.coop.

Dates are June 8-15, 2017.