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On June 16, 104 delegates representing EMCs across the state set off for the 2023 Washington Youth Tour (WYT), a fast-paced, week-long leadership adventure in our nation’s capitol.

Since 1965, the prestigious WYT has been inspiring the next generation of future leaders. In addition to convening with more than 1,800 youth representing electric cooperatives across the country, Georgia delegates enjoyed a week of visiting national monuments, exploring the Smithsonian Museums, and even indulging in the infamous Founding Fathers’ “Jefferson Filled” donuts, all while learning about the civic history of the United States. On “Capitol Hill Day”, delegates engaged with their U.S. Representatives and spent time with U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock on the Capitol steps.

Among the Georgia delegates who attended this year’s WYT were Tri-County EMC representatives Jayden Daniel of Eatonton and Esteban Zabala of Milledgeville. Selected from a pool of applicants in February 2023, both Jayden and Esteban expressed their gratitude for the opportunity.

Jayden, an upcoming senior at Gatewood School, described the influence that his WYT experience has had on his future career. “Washington Youth Tour made me want to take a bigger look into politics and further expand my leadership abilities,” said Jayden. Esteban, an upcoming senior at Baldwin High School, expressed that it gave him confidence in his ability to leave home and live on campus as he prepares to attend college.                                                                                                                                           

“The main objective of this trip is to help pave the way for future leaders, but it also serves as an opportunity to make connections with fellow delegates and chaperones,” says Tri-County EMC’s Washington Youth Tour Coordinator Anna Smith. “The once-in-a-lifetime experience that is Youth Tour creates such a bond that many alumni maintain their friendships long after they return.”

The next Washington Youth Tour will take place in June 2024. Students who want to learn more about WYT can click here for more information. Video interviews of our delegates can be viewed on the Tri-County EMC YouTube channel.

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