About Washington Youth Tour
Carroll EMC annually selects local high school students to receive an all-expenses-paid, weeklong educational trip to Washington, D.C., as a participant in the Washington Youth Tour (WYT).
The WYT, the state’s oldest youth leadership program, was created from extemporaneous comments made by late-Senator Lyndon Johnson as he addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1957. “If one thing goes out of this meeting,” the Senator declared, “I hope it will be sending youngsters to the national capitol where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.” Beginning that year, some of the Texas Electric Cooperatives sent groups of young people to Washington, D.C. to work during the summer in Senator Johnson’s office to learn about government in action.
The teenagers selected by Carroll EMC will join dozens of students from other electric cooperatives in Georgia to represent our state at the annual event that brings more than 1,500 young people from across the country to our nation’s capital.
The WYT is fun, fast-paced, well-organized and packed full of activities. Events for participants begin with a kickoff banquet for the students and their parents followed by a day full of activities before they fly to Washington. Highlights typically include visiting the U.S. Capitol, Holocaust Museum, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Supreme Court, and whenever possible, the White House. Other stops could include the National Cathedral and Arlington Cemetery as well as the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War memorials and the Lincoln, Jefferson and FDR memorials.
In addition, students will have the opportunity to meet state and national leaders and gain a better understanding of how our government works. Participants will also be involved in leadership building activities and will interact with students from across Georgia and across the United States.
The tour directors are two employees of our statewide organization, Georgia EMC. Several EMC employees and their spouses from across the state volunteer to serve as chaperones. Carroll EMC selects two chaperones each year as well.
Eligibility & Selection Process
Students attending a high school in Carroll, Haralson, Heard, Paulding, Polk or Troup County, or those whose primary residence receives electricity from Carroll EMC, are eligible to compete for the Washington Youth Tour. Students must be at least 16 years old by the trip departure date.
*Children, grandchildren or any close relative of a Carroll EMC employee, Carroll EMC director or Carroll EMC Foundation trustee must apply for the statewide contest sponsored by Georgia EMC. Applications are available from Carroll EMC.
A panel of judges (comprised of former Youth Tour chaperones and Youth Tour coordinators) will review the applications to select our finalists. Students who are chosen as finalists will be invited to an interview. The final selection of our delegates is determined by the combined scores of the application and interview process.
The 2024 Washington Youth Tour will take place June 14-21, 2024. Online applications are open through February 16.