PALMETTO, GA (April 23, 2020)—Courtney Anderson Davis, a resident of Tyrone and student at Sandy Creek High School; and William Stark, a resident of Newnan and student at Coram Deo Classical School, were selected to represent Coweta-Fayette EMC as delegates on the the 55th annual Washington Youth Tour. Washington Youth Tour is a once in a lifetime leadership experience made possible through the generosity of the electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) in Georgia, including Coweta-Fayette EMC. Due to concerns over COVID-19, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) decided to cancel the event for the safety of delegates and chaperones. Instead, Coweta-Fayette EMC will award Davis and Stark college scholarships in the amount of $1,500 each.
Every year candidates compete for a spot alongside other teens who are community volunteers in a variety of youth service organizations; student athletes; and members of respected academic organizations such as Beta Club, National Honor Society, Student Council, Key Club, Debate Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Interact Club, and Science Olympiad, as well as other notable clubs and associations.
“The Youth Tour is a prestigious national program established by our nation’s electric cooperatives to inspire the next generation of leaders,” says Chris Stephens, President and CEO of Coweta-Fayette EMC. Anderson Davis and Stark were carefully selected after submitting their applications and video essays for review. Both Davis and Stark were chosen for their outstanding leadership experience and dedication to community service. “We are saddened by the trip’s cancellation, but everyone’s safety is our first priority,” says Stephens.
“Even though the 2020 Washington Youth Tour is canceled, we are happy to support the future educational endeavors of these deserving students,” says Chellie Phillips, Vice President of Communications and Public Relations at Coweta-Fayette EMC.
Coweta-Fayette EMC plans to send delegates to Washington, D.C. for the 2021 Youth Tour. Applications will open in the fall of 2020. Interested students can visit utility.org/my-community/washington-youth-tour/ for more information.
Next year’s delegates will explore government on a national level. While visiting the nation’s capital, the delegates will have the opportunity to meet with their elected officials to discuss and learn about issues that are important in their local communities as well. The teens will also visit famous sites such as the U.S. Capitol, Smithsonian Institution museums, the Supreme Court and Arlington National Cemetery.
“The trip made me realize how big of a stage it is on the national level,” noted Jatin Patel, 2019 delegate from Fayette County High School. Kaitlyn Smith, 2019 delegate from Northgate High School, said Youth Tour “changed my perspective because I really got to see where everything happens and how it works.”
Since 1965, the Washington Youth Tour has given more than 3,000 students from Georgia and more than 50,000 nationwide the opportunity to take part in this unique experience. President Lyndon Johnson initially requested the program to “send youngsters to the nation’s capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”
Coweta Fayette EMC is a member-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to over 80,000 consumers in Coweta, Fayette, Heard, Fulton, Clayton, Meriwether, Spalding and Troup counties.