Students learn leadership skills

Published 5:52 pm Friday, July 6, 2012

LOCAL STUDENTS Kara Meng, Bainbridge High School rising senior Clint Edmunds and Cairo High School rising senior Courtney Bearrentine pose for a photo in front of the White House in Washington, D.C.

When asked the secret to success, many community and business leaders often cite early experiences that provided guidance, encouragement and peer networks which prepared them for a life-long journey of leadership and service.

Through the support and sponsorship of Grady EMC, one such opportunity recently presented itself to three local high school students. Clint Edmunds of Bainbridge High School, Courtney Bearrentine of Cairo High School, and Kara Meng of the Scholars Academy in Thomasville, Ga., recently attended the Washington Youth Tour (WYT) during the week of June 14-21.

The WYT is an annual leadership event that provides opportunities for these student-delegates to enhance personal development, leadership skills, and partake of all that Washington, DC has to offer.

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Edmunds said, as many have said before, the WYT is a trip that is truly a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“Visiting the Capitol building, while standing in the rotunda, made me realize what an awesome, awe-inspiring place I was standing in,” Edmunds said. “It is unbelievable. I was standing in the place where the laws of this great country are made and that over 200 years of history are displayed.

“I understand that I am the future of this country and will stand up and speak out.”

These three rising seniors were part of a Georgia delegation of 105 students. Grady EMC sponsors three delegates for the week-long, all-expenses paid trip. The electric cooperative sends one delegate from each of their primary service areas of Decatur, Grady and Thomas counties. They were joined by approximately 1,500 other students from across the nation during the week. Grady EMC was excited that employee Scott Dubose, and his wife Tina, were selected to serve as chaperones on this years tour.

In addition to personal development offerings, students also received in-person U.S. history lessons, which involved personal visits to the Little White House in Warm Springs, Ga. While in Washington, they met with Georgia’s congressional leaders, U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and U.S. Representatives John Lewis, John Barrow, Lynn Westmoreland, Paul Broun, Austin Scott and Rob Woodall.