A Trip To Remember


Altamaha 2018 Delegates 

The Altamaha EMC 2018 delegates - Eliott Sammons, Cody Masterman-Smith and Adam Morris -  pose for a picture in front of the World War II Memorial.


Energized with unlimited potential, a select group of high school students from electric membership corporatio (EMCs) across Georgia gather each year to experience endless opportunities as they tour Washington, D.C., on the annual Washington Youth Tour (WYT).


The itinerary for the weeklong tour is strategically planned well in advance, but what can't be planned or predicted is the chemistry created when all the elements that make up the dynamic group of students are combined. It's a formula that makes each year's trip unique and memorable. In 2018, 113 student delegates, 13 chaperones and three tour directors united to make the annual WYT a trip to remember.

Altamaha EMC's 2018 WYT delegates - Adam Morris, Elliot Sammons and Cody Masterman-Smith -  joined their talented and ambitious peers to build leadership skills, understand the importance of civic involvement and community service and tour the nation's historic sites to increase their knowledge of the country's rich heritage.

US Rep.  Rick Allen 

The memories began in Atlanta on June 14, 2018, with the kickoff banquet for delegates and their families before the students departed the next morning for the nation's capital. Through the week, delegates experienced a mix of leadership and team-building exercises, history lessons with visits to some of the country's most treasured museums and monuments and a rare opportunity to  meet one-on-one with members of Georgia's congressional delegation. Students see history come to life as they learn about the people and places that helped shape our country.


Stops in the nation's capital included Mount Vernon, Arlington Memorial Cemetery, the Smithsonian museums, Holocaust Memorial Museum, Mount Vernon, Supreme Court, Library of Congress and Kennedy Center. The students also toured the Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, MLK, World War II, Vietnam and Korean War veterans memorials.

Visits to these iconic sights, as well as up-close encounters with the history they have been taught in the classroom, can have a profound effect on the students' understanding of their country. In D.C., the Georgia contingent was joined by 1,700 delegates from across the country from different walks of life, different backgrounds and different life experiences, giving them a broader perspective and deeper appreciation of the world at large. The opportunity to mix and mingle with a melting pot of peers always leaves a lasting impression when the delegates return home.


For Cody Masterman-Smith, the most interesting part of the trip was the people. "There were so many different personalities, but we all seemed to mesh together very well," he says. "I learned about different points of views and I am better for it."


Korean Veterans MemorialIn addition to visiting the historical sights in D.C. and spending time with fascinating peers from all over the United States, delegates also engage with members of Georgia's congressional delegation, including personal visits with U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson. Adam Morris says, "Meeting our political leaders gave me a new perspective on today's important issues and what my role should be as an American citizen."

Seeing the U.S. Capitol, the House of Representatives and the Senate left a lasting impression on Elliot Sammons. "It was inspirational to me to see the places where the policies are made that govern our lives," he says.


The goal of the WYT is to provide the students - our next generation of leaders - opportunities and experiences that will empower them to make meaningful and lifelong contributions to their communities. Spending a week away, surrounded by new people in a different environment, allows delegates to forget any preconceived limitations on their lives back home. So many times, the WYT provides students a launching pad into leadership roles they never would have thought possible.

Sidney Spell, Toombs County High School Assistant Principal, served as a chaperone for the tour. He says, "This trip was something I'll never forget. The quality of students selected was just amazing. These kids have plans to do good things in their future. It was refreshing to see students with such high character, energy and a passion for life."

The Washington Youth Tour is indeed a trip to remember. It is an opportunity to remember the sacrifices made by American soldiers who fought to secure the freedoms we enjoy today and for delegates to recognize their responsibility to protect all that has been achieved for them and future generations.


Altamaha EMC believes there is no better way to promote stronger communities and a stronger nation than to support our future leaders today.


2019 Delegates 

Altamaha EMC recently selected three local students to attend the 54th annual Washington Youth Tour, a once in a lifetime leadership experience made possible through the generosity of the electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) in Georgia. This year's tour, which takes place June 13-20, will expose students to the fast-paced world of politics and leadership.

Students are carefully selected through an application process which includes a study packet, written test, and a personal interview. Chosen to represent Altamaha EMC on the 2019 tour are Fallon Holland of Toombs County High School, Hunter Brotman of Robert Toombs Christian Academy and Arham Shah of Swainsboro High School.

Briley Braddy of Vidalia Heritage Academy was also selected as a delegate for this year's tour. Because Briley's father serves on the board of directors for Altamaha EMC, she was not eligible to compete in the local contest. Georgia EMC sponsors a state-wide essay contest for children of EMC employees and directors. Briley's essay earned her a en for a spot on the 2019 tour.

The Washington Youth Tour was established to inspire the next generation of leaders. During the Washington Youth Tour, students delegates will explore government on a local and national level, gathering in Atlanta before departing for Washington, D.C. While visiting our nation's capital the delegates will have the opportunity to meet with their elected officials to discuss and learn about issues that are important locally. The Georgia delegation will join more than 1,700 additional youth representing cooperatives across the nation. The students will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and views about local and national issues with peers from other states.

Former delegates and participating EMCs agree the Youth Tour has grown into an invaluable program that gives young adults an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. 2016 Washington Youth Tour delegate Greg McKenzie said, "The Washington Youth Tour taught me that my voice matterswas an enriching experience for me. I was able to learn a plethora of new information about our nation's capital and gain leadership skills that proved to be valuable throughout the remainder of my high school and college career."

Each year, Altamaha EMC selects three local students to represent our cooperative on the Washington Youth Tour. The dates for the 2019 tour are June 13-20.


All high school juniors and seniors interested in the opportunity can obtain information by contacting our Washington Youth Tour Coordinator, Tammye Vaughn. She can be reached at 912-526-2120 or by email at: tammye.vaughn@altamahaemc.com.




Tammye Vaughn
Altamaha EMC
PO Box 346 - Lyons, GA  30436
(912) 526-2120


Each year, Altamaha EMC selects three local students to represent our cooperative on the Washington Youth Tour.

The dates for the 2019 tour are June 13-20. 

All high school juniors and seniors interested in the opportunity can obtain information by contacting our Washington Youth Tour Coordinator, Tammye Vaughn. She can be reached at 912-526-2120 or by email at: tammye.vaughn@altamahaemc.com.

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