« Back to January 2020 Newsletter

Washington Trip Inspires Career Choice

"Good morning! Thanks for joining us."

It’s 4 a.m. and Adam Hammond is already nearly three hours into his day – and loving every minute of it.

While most are still warm and snug in bed, he’s beginning a four-hour stint as the morning news anchor at Nashville’s News Channel 5. Hammond calls television broadcasting his dream job, and he credits Walton EMC and the Washington Youth Tour (WYT) with helping him get there.

Hammond was a 16-year-old sophomore at Oconee County High School when he decided to compete to represent Walton EMC as a 2002 WYT delegate.

“I grew up knowing how important the EMCs are, and why members need to participate,” Hammond said. “My grandmother still attends the annual meeting every year.”

The annual youth leadership development opportunity provides teens an up-close look at the inner workings of state and federal governments.

“I always had an interest in politics, and that grew into so much more because of the youth tour,” he said. “It exposed me to so many things you can’t know about until you experience Washington the way we did.”

As part of his Washington Youth Tour experience, Walton EMC former delegate Adam Hammond, right, met with Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson and other government leaders.

The trip also includes one-on-one meetings with congressional delegates, visits to national monuments and meeting other tour delegates from across the nation.

“My favorite thing was being able to meet and talk to kids who were like me,” he said. “I’m still in touch with many of the Georgia people I met on that trip.”

It was the timing of the tour – the first to occur after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 – that cemented Hammond’s career path.

“We saw the Pentagon being rebuilt and heard speakers who were there when it was attacked,” he recalled. “I knew from that time that I wanted to help people...I thought broadcasting and journalism could be the way.”

He encourages eligible high school students to seize the opportunity to compete to be a 2020 WYT delegate.

“It’s an experience that can stay with you your whole life,” he said. “When I went, I had no idea I’d still be talking about it 17 years later.”


Apply now to be one of four delegates who win an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., as a participant in the 2020 Washington Youth Tour.


  • Be a high school sophomore or junior.
  • Live or attend a school in the WEMC service area.
  • Have your parent’s permission to enter.
  • Commit to making the trip on June 18-25 if you win.


  1. Complete and send the entry form, parent’s authorization and student commitment. Walton EMC must receive this by 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7.
  2. You’ll get study material in the mail.
  3. Study!
  4. Take a written test on Monday, March 2, on the study material.
  5. The eight contestants scoring the highest on the written test will advance to a short interview.
  6. Judges choose four winners and two alternates.