The Chatham County Youth Commission returned to Savannah on Thursday morning following a 4-day legislative tour.
The group traveled north to Washington, DC, Wilmington, Delaware, and New York City. Students explored the Smithsonian museum and the United Nations, took in a Broadway show and even appeared on the Today Show.
Youth Commissioners also had the chance to share ideas with the Mayor of Wilmington, Delaware and the Youth Council on local government and how they can improve.
Chatham County is a nationally known and recognized governmental youth leadership program. Founded 27 years ago by Dr. Priscilla D. Thomas and directed by Alderman Van R. Johnson, II, District 1, this program has been replicated in more than a dozen other counties around the country.
Van Johnson, II, told News 3 it’s a great experience to get kids out of their comfort zones and learn more about other cities and cultures.
“For them, seeing new things, and watching their eyes, and watching them take pictures and watching the “oohs” and “ahs,” for me that’s always exhilarating,” he said.
Riche’ Williams, Chairwoman of the Chatham County Youth Commission, told News 3 it’s an exhilarating experience, even after the third time.
“I think my first year I was a little timid because I was a new person here, but this year I’m Chair. I’ve been speaking out, I’ve been helping people, and it’s just been a really good journey for me,” said Williams.
The High School Senior also said she hopes the trip will inspire the younger commissioners to not only grow as model citizens but also leaders.
Since its founding, more than 600 students have graduated through the program.