In a few months, Cecelia Tatro will be heading to Washington, D.C. for the first time and she can hardly wait.
“There’s just so much history in one city,” the 17-year-old Gainesville resident said.
Tatro is a junior at Johnson High School and will serve as a delegate on behalf of Jackson Electric Membership Corp. on the Washington Youth Tour, scheduled for June 8-15.
The all-expense paid leadership development experience is sponsored by Georgia’s electric cooperatives and organized by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Jackson EMC first sent delegates to the Washington Youth Tour in 1971, according to Jackson EMC community relations representative Karen Ewing.
Each school in Jackson EMC’s service range selected a student.
Tatro beat out other Hall County students based on her academics, community service, oral and written communications skills, letters of recommendation and a personal interview, Ewing said in a press release.
Tatro helps local hospice patients who don’t have visitors through her work with Gentiva Hospice. She created a letter-writing program she hopes will become a club at her school next year.
Every month, Tatro sets aside time in her busy schedule to write about 45 notes to patients in the hospital.
“They know someone in their community is thinking of them. My ultimate goal is to create smiles,” she said.
The idea came to her through her love of crafting and grew from there. She wanted her hobby to mean something and serve her community.
Tatro is also dedicated to her education. She’s pursuing a full International Baccalaureate diploma, and participating in the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Student Council, Spanish Honors Society and Future Business Leaders of America.
When she’s not studying, she helps with trail upkeep at Elachee Nature Science Center and organizes the food pantry at the Northeast Georgia Food Bank.
Tatro’s parents, Michelle Craven and Gordon Tatro, are just as excited as their daughter is.
“(They think) it will be a great experience to meet new people and see so much history,” Cecelia said.
The other three Jackson EMC delegates selected were Sheefa Ali, a sophomore at Collins Hill High School, and Gabriela Maduro-Salvarrey, a sophomore at Peachtree Ridge High School, both in Gwinnett County, and Trudy Ward, a sophomore at Madison County High School.