2021 Washington Youth Tour

Washington Youth Tour

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

The trip brings together more than 1,800 outstanding 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.

What's the Washington Youth Tour?


2020 WYT Overview

Jackson EMC will send four student delegates on an all-expenses paid leadership and team-building experience to Washington, D.C., June 17-24, 2021, where they will join approximately 1,700 other delegates for the Washington Youth Tour, sponsored by the electric membership corporations (EMCs).  

The 2021 WYT application process will open this fall. 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.

Jackson EMC's Competition Process

The process begins with 45 high school guidance counselors and/or leadership educators in our service region selecting one 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 at the Jackson EMC corporate office in Jefferson, GA. 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 highlighting the achievements of Georgia delegates representing their electric co-ops on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Atlanta.  Before flying to Washington, D.C., delegates 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."

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.electric.coop/our-organization/youth-programs/.