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Edgewood students headed to D.C.

Three fifth-grade students from Edgewood Elementary will travel to Washington D.C. for the Junior National Young Leaders Conference from July 10 to 15.

Fifth-grade teacher Shayla George-Williams nominated students Kevin Jones, Henry Hicks, Jr. and Catera Pettway for the conference.

“I recommended all these students because they are role models and they show excellent leadership skills and they excel in all subject areas,” George-Williams said. “I look at their grades, test scores, personality and the way they carry themselves as students. I feel like they will be a great group of students to go and represent Edgewood.”

Hicks, Jr. believes that he and his fellow students were chosen because they are hardworking, leaders, have self-control, are respectful, have a good attitude, good character and are on the honor roll.

Not all students can be nominated for the conference, but Hicks, Jr. has faith that all students have a chance to become leaders.

“They can all do it too if they all strive for the best,” Hicks, Jr. said.

Although this honor comes with accolades, Jones plans to continue to remain humble for this trip.

“I think that you should learn leadership instead of showing off and just try to work harder for yourself,” Jones said. “I hope to get out of this a fun experience so that when I come back I’ll be a different person.”

Pettway is excited that this trip will sharpen her leadership skills and allow her to travel.

“I’m happy to be a leader and go somewhere outside of Alabama,” Pettway said.

Before they can board the airplane and register for the conference, students are raising money for the cost of the trip.

George-Williams had nominated nine students for the event this year, but not all were able to provide funds for the trip. This is the first year in the four years that George-Williams has nominated students that parents have sought to fundraise to send children to the event.

Registration for just the event is about $2,000 per student, plus cost of airfare, museum fees and hotels. Parents of the students will attend as well to chaperone, but fundraising efforts are only dedicated for the students.

Students have sold barbecue plates to raise money and parents are also planning to hold a fish fry, but have not set an exact date and location yet. The next event will be a car wash Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Edgewood Elementary.

To donate for the trip, bring checks made out to Edgewood PTO c/o Susie Jones to the front office of Edgewood Elementary, located on Highland Avenue.

The event is a part of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council program that represents students who have excelled in both academic and community leadership.