Tommy Webb, Aaron Fondal and Steven Davis

From left, Strong Rock Christian School athletic director Tommy Webb, student Aaron Fondal and high school Principal Steven Davis gather after a recent youth assembly.  

Aaron Fondal of Locust Grove will need some time off from Strong Rock Christian School in March.

The student body president will be heading to Capitol Hill as a U.S. Senate Youth Program delegate in an intensive, weeklong study of the federal government and its leaders.

U.S. senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., announced his selection Jan. 16.

During the program, which runs March 3 to 10, Fondal will sit in on meetings with the president, senators, U.S. House representatives, congressional staff, a Supreme Court justice, cabinet agency leaders, an ambassador to the U.S. and senior members of the national media.

He and fellow delegate Kendall Chamberlain of Cumming, a student at West Forsyth High School, will also have a chance to take in some national monuments and museums.

“The students selected to participate in the U.S. Senate Youth Program are afforded a unique opportunity to learn more about their government first-hand,” Isakson said in a statement. “Both Kendall Chamberlain and Aaron Fondal, and Georgia’s alternate participants, Jacob Busch and Meredith Johns, have demonstrated the leadership qualities and interest required for this program, and I congratulate them on their selection.”

Busch is from Chamblee and attends Chamblee Charter High School; Johns, of Kennesaw, attends Kennesaw Mountain High School.

Perdue said they are all winners.

“Through this program, student leaders have a unique opportunity to witness the legislative process and visit our nation’s capital to learn first-hand about how our government works,” he said in a statement. “We are confident you all will make Georgia proud.”

According to a news release, the “very competitive selection process” also provides Fondal and Chamberlain with $10,000 college scholarships for undergraduate school.

A chief educational officer in each state selects delegates after nomination by teachers and principals.

State Superintendent Richard Woods chose this year’s Georgia delegates.

Criteria include leadership abilities, volunteerism and high academic rank.

Fondal is Strong Rock’s National Honor Society president.

Last summer, he participated in the national Youth Governors Conference, a gathering of 42 youth governors from around the nation.

Fondal was elected as the youth governor of the state YMCA of Georgia’s 73rd Youth Assembly at the state Capitol in November.

At the same assembly, Chamberlain, a student council member, was appointed chief justice.

Chamberlain has testified before the state Senate rules committee in support of a resolution recognizing Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, according to the release.

A total of 104 high school juniors and seniors, two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity, will attend the Washington Week activities.

The program, now in its 56th year, has been sponsored by the Senate and funded by the Hearst Foundations since its inception in 1962, the release stated.

Its mission is to help instill within each class of student delegates more in-depth knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service.

No government funds are used; the foundations provide transportation, expenses and the scholarships with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.

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