Grady EMC provides students leadership opportunity at capital

Published 4:56 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Grady EMC is proud to have sponsored Dakota Daniel, Claudia White and Samantha Worthington from Cairo, Thomasville and Bainbridge consecutively, this year for the Washington Youth Tour (WYT). The WYT is a weeklong leadership trip to D.C. for exemplary students made possible by local cooperatives across the state, including Grady EMC. 

The Washington Youth Tour kicked off with a banquet in Atlanta on June 7 before 113 delegates and 16 adults, traveled to Washington D.C.

The EMC delegates from Georgia joined 1,800 other ambitious students from around the nation as they all experienced America’s history, met with our elected officials, toured historical sites, and built friendships. 

Email newsletter signup

This 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. 

According to Adam Starr, Member Services Manager of Grady EMC, “this trip challenges students and gives them a greater appreciation for how our nation began and the ability to evaluate the role that they play in improving it.”

A recent Georgia youth tour alum says, “On that trip I realized just how great our nation is and how much our youth influence where we go from here. I learned that the impact of the youth on our country is not to be dismissed.” 

The Washington Youth Tour has been remembered as “the trip of a lifetime” by many alumni and is not to be missed by any student seeking leadership opportunities and what makes our country function. A Georgia delegate from 2017 encourages high school students saying, “Apply. Don’t think, don’t hesitate, just apply.”

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 and met Georgia 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.” 

Finally, at All-States Youth Day, a program sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, students were brought together from all over the nation to hear from public figures and other featured speakers. This day allowed students to see the impact of electric cooperatives on their communities back home. 

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. 

Grady EMC is a consumer-owned cooperative that provides electricity and other related services to 13,311 consumers in 3 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 customer-owned co-ops 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 and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.