2018-07-11 / Front Page

Planters EMC provides students with opportunity to lead and learn in nation’s capital


Chaperones and delegates representing Planters EMC on the 2018 Washington Youth Tour include, from left, John Paul Hearn, Renee Hearn, Abbigail Adams, Hudson Sherrod, Micah Mesecher and Whitney Dixon. (Photo credit: Louis Tonsmeire) Chaperones and delegates representing Planters EMC on the 2018 Washington Youth Tour include, from left, John Paul Hearn, Renee Hearn, Abbigail Adams, Hudson Sherrod, Micah Mesecher and Whitney Dixon. (Photo credit: Louis Tonsmeire) Planters Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) recently sponsored three local students on the 2018 Washington Youth Tour. Abbigail Adams, Micah Mesecher and Hudson Sherrod represented the cooperative on the weeklong leadership trip to Washington D.C. June 7-14, 2018.

Adams and Sherrod, both seniors at Edmund Burke Academy and Mesecher, a senior at Screven County High School, earned the opportunity to go on the life changing trip by writing contest winning essays about cooperatives and how they benefit the community.

The 113 Georgia delegates were chaperoned by 16 adults including John Paul and Renee Hearn of Millen, and Whitney Dixon of Waynesboro. The Georgia group joined 1,800 other ambitious students from around the nation as they all built friendships, experienced America’s history, toured historical sites and met with our elected officials.

The trip offers high school students a unique opportunity to gain leadership skills while learning about some of the most talented leaders in American history. The learning experience on the Youth Tour differs from the classroom as students not only grow in academic understanding, but they also develop people and “soft” skills.

“This is a highly gifted group of young people, and we encourage delegates to really get know each other,” says Randy Hill with Planters EMC. “Few people get the opportunity to spend a week with such a motivated group and share the experience together in a powerful city like Washington D.C.”

During this eventful week the delegates visited Mount Vernon, the National Archives, the Smithsonian Museums, the Washington National Cathedral, the U.S. Capitol, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial and U.S. Air Force Memorial, the Library of Congress and Arlington National Cemetery. The group also took a guided tour of the MLK, FDR, Jefferson and WWII memorials. In addition, the students enjoyed a performance of “Newsies” at Toby’s Dinner Theatre and a riverboat cruise with delegates from other states.

Not only did the students see our nation’s capital, but they also heard from U.S. representatives including Georgia’s 12th District Rick Allen and Senator Johnny Isakson. This interaction impacted last year’s delegates as one recalls, “As I learned about Congress I saw that cooperation with other people is vital to move our country forward.”

The Washington Youth Tour has made a way for more than 50,000 students from rural areas across the country to experience our nation’s capital. This trip has had lasting effects on students as many have gone on to serve in local and state government and at the national level as well.

Planning for the 2019 Washington Youth Tour is underway, and high school juniors can be a part of next year’s delegates by entering the contest in January 2019. For more details, contact Randy Hill or Whitney Dixon at 478-982-4722.

Planters EMC is a member-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to 12,700 members in Bulloch, Burke, Effingham, Emanuel, Jenkins, Richmond and Screven counties.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 41 electric cooperatives, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Collectively, Georgia’s memberowned cooperatives provide electricity and related services to 4.4 million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area. To learn more, visit www.georgiaemc.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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