Local Washington Youth Tour Student Visits U.S. Rep Westmoreland on Capitol Hill

Thu, 07/02/2009 - 3:02pm
By: The Citizen

Student Visits U.S. Rep Westmoreland

For East Coweta High School student Kristina Matheny, summer vacation has been far from average.

Instead of lounging by the pool or watching television, the 17-year-old – who recently returned from the 2009 Washington Youth Tour (WYT), a leadership program sponsored by the electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) of Georgia, including Coweta-Fayette EMC – visited Congressional leaders in our nation’s capitol.

To cap off the seven-day trip, Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and U.S. Representatives John Barrow, Sanford Bishop, Paul Broun, Nathan Deal, Jack Kingston, Tom Price and Lynn Westmoreland met personally with the WYT students from Georgia to help them gain insight into today’s tough issues.

The Youth Tour, held June 11-18, provided more than 100 of Georgia’s brightest students with a first-hand look at the nation’s capitol, a better understanding of sacrifices made by others to ensure their freedom and hundreds of new friends with whom they now share a common bond.

The WYT is an annual event held to teach students about U.S. history, government and careers in public service. The primary purpose of the program is to promote civic involvement and teach students the values every electric cooperative brings to the communities they serve. This year, Georgia’s EMCs sponsored a total of 103 youth delegates, who joined more than 1,500 other teens from across the nation.

“Giving young people the opportunity to view our government and nation’s capitol on a personal level is extremely important,” said Coweta-Fayette CEO Anthony “Tony” Sinclair. “These students will be leaders in their communities in the years ahead, and it’s necessary to deliver the message that public service is noble and needed in order for our country to grow and prosper.”

The 2009 Youth Tour began on June 11 in Atlanta. Before departing for Washington, D.C., the group visited FDR’s Little White House in Warm Springs. After arriving in D.C., they toured the Supreme Court, the U.S. Capitol, the Washington National Cathedral, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery and the FDR, Jefferson, Lincoln, Korean War and Vietnam Veterans’ memorials.

For the first time, students were also able to see the new Pentagon Memorial honoring the 184 lives lost when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

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.”

Coweta-Fayette EMC is a consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to over 73,000 consumers in Coweta, Fayette, Heard, South Fulton, Clayton, Spalding, Troup and Meriwether Counties.

For more information, visit www.utility.org

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