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Altamaha EMC Youth Tour Participants
Wednesday, 01 April 2009

April 1--Two local high school students will kick off their summer vacation by attending the 44th annual Washington Youth Tour (WYT), an all-expense paid leadership experience sponsored by the electric membership corporations in Georgia.

ImageSelected by Altamaha EMC, Mary Frederick and Ford Jones will be among 103 high school students at the weeklong leadership event set for June 11-18 with stops in Atlanta and Washington D.C.  As Georgia’s oldest leadership program for teens, the Washington Youth Tour is designed to teach students about U.S. history, government, and careers in public service.

“We at Altamaha EMC view the Washington Youth Tour as an opportunity to expose these students to people and places they may never have had the opportunity to meet or see before; in so doing, they develop leadership qualities,” said Tammye Vaughn, Communications Specialist for Altamaha EMC.  “The Youth Tour is an opportunity for remarkable students to personally meet with members of Georgia’s congressional delegation and visit historical points of interest in the nation’s Capitol.”

Mary is the daughter of Brian Frederick of Vidalia.  She is a junior at Vidalia High School where she is involved in numerous clubs and activities including FBLA, SOAR, FCA, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Y-Club and Student Government Association.  Mary is also a member of the VHS Swim Team.  She is a DARE role model and has held the distinction of first place academically in her class throughout her high school career.  Mary is a graduate of the Toombs-Montgomery Youth Leadership program.  Her future plans are to become a pharmacist and specialize in chemotherapy research.

Ford is the son of Mark and Kay Jones of Ailey.  A senior at Robert Toombs Christian Academy, Ford is a member of Key Club, National Honor Society, and FCA.  He is a member of the varsity basketball and football teams.  Ford is also a graduate of the Toombs-Montgomery Youth Leadership program.  He has been accepted to the University of Georgia where he will major in chemistry before following his dream of becoming a doctor.

Georgia’s WYT delegates will join more than 1,500 students from 44 states for the fast-paced trip that focuses on leadership training in the nation’s capital.

Before flying to Washington, D.C., students spend a day in Georgia where they visit Atlanta sites and tour the Little White House in Warm Springs.  In D.C., tour stops include Ford’s Theater and Peterson House, the Smithsonian Museums, Holocaust Museum, Union Station, Mount Vernon, Supreme Court, Capitol, National Archives, Washington Monument and FDR, Jefferson, World War II, Lincoln, Korean War and Vietnam Veterans monuments and memorials.  The youth participate in a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, view the United States Marine Corps Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima Memorial, attend a Congressional meeting with U.S. Representatives, meet both U.S. senators from Georgia, and enjoy a riverboat cruise on the Potomac.

Included in this year’s tour is a visit to the Pentagon Memorial dedicated to the memory of the 184 lives lost when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. The $22 million facility opened in September 2008 and will be home to 184 individual memorial benches, each dedicated to a victim and inscribed with his or her name. The benches will be organized by the victims' ages, and oriented according to whether they were among the 59 who died aboard Flight 77 or the 125 who lost their lives in the Pentagon.

Other stops include visits to the Hard Rock Café and Toby’s Dinner Theater in Baltimore, Md., where the group will attend the play, “Beauty and the Beast.”

The Washington Youth Tour was inspired by former president Lyndon Johnson who, in 1965, encouraged electric cooperatives “to send youngsters to the nation’s capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”

            Altamaha EMC is a consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to over 13,200 consumers in Toombs, Montgomery, Tattnall, Treutlen, Laurens, Johnson and Emanuel counties.

 
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