Kirtan Parekh earns spot on Washington leadership tour
Kirtan Parekh, a student at North Gwinnett High School, is one of 4 talented and ambitious sophomores and juniors from Gwinnett County, 112 from Georgia, and 1600+ nationwide who have earned a place on the 50th year Washington Youth Tour (WYT). These tour delegates will spend a memorable week (June 11-18) in the nation’s capital to learn about leadership, teamwork, democracy, and public service.
Georgia’s oldest leadership program for teens, the WYT focuses on U.S. history, government, and the importance of public service. It was inspired by former president Lyndon Johnson who encouraged electric cooperatives “to send youngsters to the nation’s capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.” It is sponsored nationally by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and in Georgia by 38 electric membership cooperatives (EMCs).
Left: Jackson EMC's 2015 Washington Youth Tour Delegates: Gwinnett County High School students Chris Larkins, Dacula; Kristen Gomez, Mill Creek; Kirtan Parekh, North Gwinnett; and Emily Bauer, Brookwood.
Students will meet with members of Georgia’s congressional delegation and visit the Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian museums, Holocaust Museum, Mount Vernon, Supreme Court, Capitol, Washington Monument, and the MLK, FDR, Jefferson, World War II, and Lincoln memorials. The tour begins for the Georgia delegates with a day in Atlanta, including a reception, icebreakers and teambuilding exercises, and programs on leadership, cooperatives, and how rural electrification began.
Potential delegates were chosen by counselors and teachers based on academics, activities, and leadership abilities. They then were judged on short-answer and essay questions, recommendations, and interviews.
Website Bonus Feature
North Gwinnett High School ‘16
“I set my goal, and pursue it with passion and dedication.”
The band room at North Gwinnett High School is literally
banging with excitement. Kirtan Parekh and his fellow drummers
are preparing for tomorrow’s concert – an elite event where
only the top percussion ensembles will be showcased.
Before he can take the stage with his band mates, he’ll attend another meeting in Atlanta. As the state president of the Georgia Association of Student Councils, he’s planning the Georgia Student Council Convention for 2016; the theme is “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Leadership.”
“Our goal for the week is to be inspired by dynamic speakers, student-led workshops and activities with leadership messages we can all bring back to our schools and use to make a difference.” Parekh set goals for impacting his school long ago.
“Day one of my freshman year, I was exposed to the wonders of student leadership,” Parekh said about his experience with Expectations 101, a daylong freshman orientation program at NGHS. “I told myself I would be the leader I saw on stage that day – that I would be planning this for the freshmen in two years.”
Now he is. Parekh worked with the North Gwinnett Student Leadership Team to plan and lead the 2015 Expectations 101 program.
When he isn’t working with students at NGHS as a mentor, drum major, Beta Club meeting coordinator or as the junior class president, he’s reaching out to other Gwinnett County students through the Trident Competition, a scholarship competition he designed and runs. He is also a member of the youth leader board for the city of Suwanee.
“Kirtan is an exemplary student at North Gwinnett, excels in community service and possesses natural leadership ability,” said Adam Edge, Suwanee Downtown and Business Development Manager. “Those qualities, combined with his maturity, integrity and work ethic, give me full confidence Kirtan is not only worthy of selection, but is the quintessential individual for whom this program was created.”
Kirtan is the son of Mehul and Nita Parekh of Suwanee. He plans to study business and industrial engineering at Georgia Tech.
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