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Local students return from Washington Youth Tour
Youth Tour pic
Georgia’s youth delegation included Bob Jasperse of Jasper, Ben Mayfield of Dahlonega and Audra Vaughters of Dawsonville. - photo by Photo/Submitted

More than 100 of Georgia’s brightest students recently returned from the 2009 Washington Youth Tour, a leadership program sponsored by the electric membership cooperatives in Georgia, including Amicalola EMC.


At the end of the seven-day trip, held June 11-18, a select group of youth delegates returned home with a firsthand look of the nation’s capitol, a better understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices made by others to ensure their freedom, and hundreds of new friends who have the shared experience of the leadership program.


The Youth Tour is an annual event that teaches students about U.S. history, government and careers in public service. The primary purpose of the tour is to teach students the values every electric cooperative brings to the communities they serve and to promote civic involvement.


This year, Georgia’s EMCs sponsored a total of 103 youth delegates, who joined more than 1,500 youth from across the nation.


Georgia’s youth delegation included Bob Jasperse of Jasper, Ben Mayfield of Dahlonega and Audra Vaughters of Dawsonville.


These three delegates were sponsored by Amicalola EMC, headquartered in Jasper.


The group toured the Supreme Court, the U.S. Capitol, the Washington National Cathedral, Mount Vernon, the FDR, Jefferson, Lincoln, Korean and Vietnam Veterans memorials and Arlington National Cemetery.


Georgia’s youth delegates also had the chance to gain first-hand insights into today’s most important issues through personal visits with their congressional delegations on Capitol Hill; including 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.


Since 1964, EMCs across the nation have sponsored more than 40,000 high school students to spend a week in Washington, D.C. to see historic monuments and memorials and to watch history unfold on Capitol Hill. Photos from this year’s tour are posted on the GEMC Web site at


Amicalola EMC is a member-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to more than 45,000 locations in Bartow, Cherokee, Dawson, Fannin, Forsyth, Gilmer, Gordon, Lumpkin, Murray and Pickens counties.


Through a statewide network, Georgia’s EMCs provide electricity and related services to four million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area. Georgia’s 42 electric membership corporations serve more consumers than any other state network of EMCs in the nation.