By Ryan Cornell
STEPHENS CITY -- While others hit the beach, they'll be hitting the books.
Sadie Crouch, 17, and Tom Powars, 16, students at Sherando High School, are participating in enrichment programs this summer to supplement their studies.
Crouch will be in Washington, D.C., for five days, meeting members of Congress and learning about the policies that impact regional electric cooperatives and utility companies -- her trip is sponsored through the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative's Washington Youth Tour.
She said she's interested in the legislative process and is thinking about majoring in public policy.
"I kind of like international relations," she said. "I like the part where you get to learn about other cultures and things like that, and the opportunity for travel and politics."
The program, which hosts about 1,500 students from across the U.S. each year, will also have her touring Capitol Hill and the Smithsonian museums.
Crouch said she wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Vienna) and was recommended by her U.S. history teacher to apply for the program.
Powars will be getting an early glimpse into college life. In addition to sharing a dorm room with a roommate for three weeks, Powars will study a course in colonial American history, complete weekly assignments and attend lectures given by professors at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.
The sophomore, who said this will be one of his first times away from home, wrote an essay to apply for the Pre-Collegiate Summer Program in Early American History, which is offered through the National Institute of American History & Democracy.
According to the organization's website, Powars will visit archaeology sites, historic structures, battlefields and museums to learn about the period of time between the founding of Jamestown and the American Revolution.
"It's kind of like a summer course, but it's also like a really cool summer camp at the same time," he said. "So I'm pretty excited about it."
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org