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Students eye trip to Washington, D.C.
Ian McGaughey of Jefferson, Zac Adams of Duluth, Michael Smith of Lawrenceville and Betsy Barrett of Gainesville will head to the nation’s capital as part of the 2014 Washington Youth Tour leadership trip. Barrett is a student at North Hall High School.

Jackson EMC has selected North Hall High School student Betsy Barrett as one of four students for the 2014 Washington Youth Tour leadership trip.

Barrett, daughter of Jeff and Theresa of Gainesville, was selected to attend the youth your, a fully paid leadership trip sponsored by 38 of the electric membership corporations in Georgia.

The other three students are: Jackson County Comprehensive High School student Ian McGaughey, son of Kenneth and Margaret of Jefferson; Peachtree Ridge High School student Zac Adams, son of Eric and Melissa of Duluth; and Mountain View High School student Michael Smith, son of Ben and Linda Sawyer of Lawrenceville.

As Georgia’s oldest leadership program for teens, the Washington Youth Tour is designed to teach students about U.S. history, the role of democracy, the importance of community and public service and the need for civic leadership and service.

Barrett will be among 109 Georgia high schoolers at the event from June 12-19 beginning with stops in Georgia then moving to historic sites and other events in Washington, D.C.

While in Washington, the Georgia delegation will join nearly 1,600 Youth Tour participants from co-ops across the country, providing yet another significant benefit of the trip: the opportunity to meet and learn from a diverse group of peers representing nearly every state.

Jackson EMC President and CEO Randall Pugh said the tour is an opportunity for students to interact with members of Georgia’s congressional delegation and visit landmarks in Georgia and the nation’s capital.

“Making the pilgrimage to D.C., with an emphasis on the nation’s rich heritage, is something many adults, and certainly high school-aged kids, never experience,” Pugh said. “With tours of museums, memorials and monuments, the trip provides a history lesson that can’t be learned from any textbook or classroom in Georgia.”

The trip includes historic attractions such as the Little White House in Warm Springs, and D.C. sites such as the Smithsonian Museums, Holocaust Museum, Mount Vernon, Supreme Court, Capitol, Washington Monument, and the FDR, Jefferson, World War II and Lincoln memorials.

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.”

Jackson EMC is a consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to more than 212,000 members in portions of 10 counties including Banks, Barrow, Clarke, Franklin, Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison and Oglethorpe counties.

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