2016 Washington Youth Tour

Washington Youth Tour

Once a year, Jackson EMC sends area high school students to represent the co-op on the prestigious Washington Youth Tour.

The trip brings together more than 1,600 highly talented, ambitious young people from across the country for an incredible week in the nation's capital to further develop their leadership skills and ambitions. 

The Washington Youth Tour (WYT) is sponsored nationally by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and statewide by 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 inspired by former president Lyndon Johnson who, in 1957, encouraged electric cooperatives to send youngsters to the nation’s capital where they can actually see what the flag represents.

Washington Youth Tour (WYT), JEMC Promo

2016 WYT Overview

Jackson EMC will send four exceptional student delegates on an all-expenses paid leadership trip to Washington, D.C., June 9-16 for the 2016 Washington Youth Tour, sponsored by the electric membership corporations (EMCs).  

The 2016 trip 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

Click here to download the 2016 WYT Application (PDF)

Click here to download the 2016 WYT Brochure (PDF)

Please note: forms cannot be sent electronically. Print, sign and date the form, make necessary copies and mail along with other attachments. See FAQ’s for more information.  

The WYT competition allows the cooperative to recognize emerging leaders in area high schools and further develop these qualities through the trip of a lifetime.  

If you are interested in being one of our 2016 WYT delegates, you must:

  • contact your school counselor, guidance or leadership office (if applicable); each school selects one nominee as their semi-finalist. 
  • be a high school sophomore or junior and 16 years old by June 9, 2016. 
  • legally reside in, or attend a school in, one of the counties served by Jackson EMC.
  • submit complete application, including general information, academics, school and extra-curricular activities, short answer and essay questions, letters of recommendation and parental consent.
  • include two letters of recommendation, as outlined in application, focusing on your leadership skills and why you should be considered as a delegate. 
  • include current photo (school headshot if possible).
  • be eligible for face-to-face panel interview on Thursday, March 17, 2016. 
  • be eligible to travel June 9-16, 2016 
  • not have been a previous winner  

Deadline dates vary by schools so check with your school for due dates. 

Please note: Applicants may not be the son, daughter or grandchild of an active or retired Jackson EMC employee or of the cooperative’s Board of Directors but are eligible to apply for the trip through Georgia EMC’s Statewide Essay contest.

Jackson EMC’s Competition Process 

The process begins with 42 high school guidance counselors and/or leadership educators in our service areas selecting a student from each school to compete for a spot on the trip. Applicants should have excelled in academics, extra-curricular activities, community involvement and leadership abilities. Applicants are also judged on short-answer and essay questions, as well as letters of recommendation.  

Once the field narrows, a panel of community volunteers will interview the top ten finalists on Thursday, March 17, 2016. The four winners earn the top scores after the interviewing process. The competition is designed to reward well-rounded high school sophomores and juniors with leadership potential or experience, in their schools and communities. 

The Washington Youth Tour 

Before the Georgia delegates take to the sky en route to DC, they spend a day in Atlanta. The first activity is a Statewide Dinner/Reception highlighting the achievements of the 100+ participating high school students from across the state who earned the trip to our nation’s capital. Before joining their peers from across the country in Washington, D.C., they participate in team building and ice-breaker activities, as well as learn more about leadership, cooperatives and how rural electrification began.

“This is a leadership trip of a lifetime for these young people,” says Chip Jakins, Jackson EMC president/CEO. “The WYT is an opportunity for exceptional students to have a jam-packed backstage pass to our nation’s capital, to personally meet with members of Georgia’s congressional delegation and cement their leadership skills and ambitions. 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.youthtoour.coop.

This year’s trip dates are June 9-16, 2016.