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Sawnee EMC honors two from Washington tour
Students participated in weeklong educational program
This years Sawnee EMC representatives for the Washington Youth Tour, Nili Nourpavar and Chad Newstrom, visit with state Rep. Mark Hamilton of Cumming during a recognition event last week. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

CUMMING — Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation recently recognized two students who took part in this year’s Washington Youth Tour.

Each year, Sawnee EMC, headquartered in Cumming, selects two students from its seven-county service area to participate in the trip.

After a lengthy application and interview process, Nili Nourpavar from Centennial High School in Roswell and Chad Newstrom from West Hall High School were selected for this year’s free, weeklong program.

In June, they joined more than 100 other Georgia high school students, chosen from other EMCs around the state, in the national program to learn leadership skills and the need for civic involvement.

“The students come away with an understanding of the challenges facing our entire nation, and they gain new insights to the vision, leadership and sacrifice required to build a better life for themselves, their families and their communities,” said Cindy Badgett, a spokeswoman for Sawnee EMC.

Those who take part in the tour come away with a new sense of the importance of American history that can’t be taught in a classroom, Badgett said.

“This trip allowed me to experience everything I learned in class, but also be able to truly absorb the country’s past,” Nourparvar said.

Highlights of the youth tour included visits to Arlington Cemetery, as well as the Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR and Martin Luther King memorials.

Students also visited the Vietnam, Korean and World War II monuments, as well as the U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, Library of Congress and Smithsonian museums.

They met with Georgia’s congressional delegation, and concluded their week with National Youth Day, sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

For nearly 50 years, more than 50,000 young people have traveled to Washington for the program.