In June, high school seniors Kirsten Farmer, of Harris County High School, and Connor Mahan, of LaGrange High, represented Diverse Power on the Washington Youth Tour (WYT), Georgia’s oldest leadership program for teens. The delegates visited dozens of historic landmarks, museums and memorials and gained perspective on current issues during discussions with members of Georgia’s congressional delegation. The students agreed the tour was not only instructional—but life-changing.

“Sending youth delegates to D.C. is how we applaud them for leading the way in their local communities, provide them a chance to see history come to life, and give them an opportunity to connect with student leaders like them,” says Diverse Power President/CEO Wayne Livingston. “We are dedicated to improving the future of our youth because we know they’re next in line to lead the way.”

Farmer and Mahan visited Mount Vernon while in Washington D.C. For Farmer, this was the most memorable part of her trip. “It was gorgeous there—the mansion, the landscaping. We got to walk around at our own pace and we ate lunch there. They gave us cherry pie. I thought that was really funny because George Washington cut down the cherry tree, and there we were eating cherry pie at his estate.” (Photo credit: Beth McMillan)


Connor Mahan, son of Jane Mahan, of LaGrange, posed with Marines following a performance by the Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial. A history buff, Mahan enjoyed meeting new friends and seeing historic sites on the tour. (Photo credit: Rodney Christopher)


Kirsten Farmer took a moment to reflect at the eternal flame where President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis are buried in Arlington Cemetery. Says Farmer: “You can’t help but feel in awe at the resting place of such an iconic figure.” (Beth McMillan)


Visiting the Capitol to meet congressmen from his home state was Connor Mahan’s favorite part of WYT. “Rep. Lynn Westmoreland is a nice guy,” says Mahan, second from left. “If I’d had more time with him, I would have picked his brain a little more.” (Photo credit: Byron McCombs)


Kirsten Farmer seems to hold the Washington Monument in her hands. The daughter of Kasey and Angel Worrells, of Pine Mountain, Farmer plans to attend the University of Georgia and says the experience helped improve her communication and networking skills. “I’m shy, and on the tour you have to put yourself out there to get to know all these new people, like you will in college,” says Farmer, expressing gratitude for being selected to go on the Youth Tour. “It shows Diverse Power really cares about the community—to pay for two kids to go on this trip of a lifetime. It truly was the greatest experience that I have ever participated in.” (Photo credit: Mary Beth McDermitt)


Connor Mahan joined delegates at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, one of numerous WYT stops. “We jam-packed two weeks’ worth of stuff into one week,” says Mahan, who’s considering majoring in international studies with a career in politics. “I love Washington D.C., the city itself and the people there. I appreciate Diverse Power so much for sending me on this trip. It definitely strengthened my interest in public policy, government and foreign affairs.” (Photo credit: Rodney Christopher)


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