DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - A Dougherty County civics program, that nearly shut down because of problems between adult volunteers and disagreements between the county and school system, is back in full force.
Teens officially became part of the Georgia Civics Awareness Program for Students Tuesday night.
With hands held high and smiles all around, Dougherty County students made it official.
On Tuesday, the group took their first collective steps toward learning about the inner working of government, from their own city's departments to the federal level.
"So, that they can see what it does to become a leader in the community and just to get a feel of it and what they do. You know, to be able to follow that path," Program Coordinator Sonya Spillers said.
18 students from public and private high schools will meet government and corporate leaders. They'll even get to visit the nation's capital.
Assistant County Administrator Michael McCoy said that the program helps local government develop leaders early on.
"It is important that we train up our young citizens of this community to assume leadership roles," explained McCoy???
And, the group learned just how the program might do that on Tuesday.
GCAPS Alum Jamekia Collins spoke to the new class of students, recalling how it felt to be in their situation.
"It's all surreal. I remember being in this position same time about a year ago," said Collins. "It's just so surreal for me to be back to be talking to someone about the program. It's just a great experience."
That's something Sherwood Christian Junior Lara Todd, who is new to the program, said she's looking forward to.
"I was very in a bubble," explained Todd. "So, I didn't understand that there was a bunch of people having to work for this and having to work to have certain things in our government. I think it's really good for everyone to understand all the moving parts."
And she's in good company when it comes students eager to learn how to lead.
The group will get started quickly, as it is heads to a leadership conference in Macon next week.