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GreyStone President/CEO Gary Miller and GreyStone board member Maribeth Wansley congratulate the 2019 Washington Youth Tour winners. From left are Miller, Madison Clevenger, Sydney Branton, Cassie Rich, Andrew Hawkinson, Rian Philip and Wansley. / Special-GreyStone Power

Five area students will represent a West Georgia electricity provider at a national youth leadership conference in June in the nation’s capital.

North Paulding High School student Madison Clevenger of Dallas will join Alexander High School students Sydney Branton of Winston and Cassie Rich of Villa Rica, Harvester Christian Academy student Andrew Hawkinson of Douglasville, and Landmark Christian School student Rian Philip of Fayetteville to attend the the 54th annual Washington Youth Tour through the sponsorship of Georgia’s electric membership cooperatives, including GreyStone Power.

Ashley Kinnard, public relations and communications manager with GreyStone, said it is an honor to be chosen for the trip.

Candidates compete for a spot alongside other teens who are community volunteers in a variety of youth service organizations, student athletes, and members of academic organizations such as Beta Club, National Honor Society, Student Council, Key Club, Debate Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Interact Club, and Science Olympiad, as well as other notable clubs and associations.

Kinnard said the Youth Tour was established to inspire the next generation of leaders. This year’s tour, scheduled for June 13 to 20, will expose students to the fast-paced world of politics and leadership, a news release stated.

Students went through an application process which included taking an exam that covered information about the history of rural electrification, U.S. government and GreyStone.

Former delegates and participating EMCs agree the Youth Tour has grown into an invaluable program that gives young adults an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Mark Essien, a 2018 GreyStone delegate, said, “The Youth Tour helped me gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of our government and American history. That is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

Delegates will explore government on a local and national level, gathering in Atlanta before departing for Washington, D.C. While visiting the nation’s capital, the delegates will have the opportunity to meet with their elected officials to discuss and learn about issues that are important locally.

The Georgia delegation will join more than 1,700 youths representing cooperatives across the nation.

The students will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and views about local and national issues with peers from other states.

Since 1965, the Washington Youth Tour has given more than 3,000 students from Georgia and more than 50,000 nationwide the opportunity to take part in this unique experience.

GreyStone Power is a member-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to more than 117,000 members in eight counties, including portions of Paulding, Bartow, Douglas, Fulton, Cobb, Carroll, Fayette and Coweta counties.

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