Megan Garrett participates in YMCA National Advocacy Days

Published 1:31 pm Friday, March 18, 2016

Randolph-Henry senior Megan Garrett was recently selected as the sole representative in Virginia to participate in YMCA National Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C.

“This was a wonderful honor for a high school student,” said Charlotte County School Superintendent Nancy Leonard. “I know that Megan represented Charlotte County well. She is an outstanding young lady and we are very proud of her accomplishment.”

According to Garrett, the event was held Feb. 21-24. During the trip, she was given the opportunity to interact with several individuals of distinction, including YMCA officials from all over the country, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell, YMCA CEO Kevin Washington and a variety of U.S. senators and congressmen.

“We are so proud of Megan’s accomplishments,” said Randolph-Henry High School Principal Robbie Mason. “She is a great example of what you can do if you take ownership of a project and invest your time and efforts

into taking that project to another level.”

He said she was a great representation of Randolph-Henry.

“It began last year at the YMCA-sponsored Model General Assembly where I participated for the first time as a lobbyist,” Garrett said. “Thirty of the 450 participants overall are nominated for the Conference on National Affairs, and 15 are chosen to go as Virginia delegates. I was selected to go and had the ability to participate in the conference.”

The Model General Assembly is an opportunity for high school students to become acquainted with the legislative process in Virginia, according to information from the Virginia YMCA.

“Megan displayed so much energy and enthusiasm for her role as a lobbyist that she caught the attention of the organizers who were looking for these qualities in potential selectees for the YMCA Conference on National Affairs in North Carolina,” said Randolph-Henry teacher John Noel said. He said Garrett is currently the president of the Youth and Government Club at the school.

“Garrett said she was notified about the YMCA National Advocacy Days program by Sharon Davis, YMCA executive director.

Garrett said once she heard a youth representative was needed for the program, she filled out an application to be considered.

She said she was notified in the fall of her selection as the sole Virginia representative to participate in the program.

“I then studied some legislation that is currently in committees and … in Congress and went to D.C. in February for the program,” said Garrett.

During the trip to D.C., Garrett said she was able to speak with several senators and representatives about legislation to provide insight about the effects on local communities and the YMCA.

“Not only was this a unique opportunity, but it allowed me to experience D.C.,” Garrett said. “Through these programs, I was able to decide that I want to enter public service. I discovered my calling is government and political science.”

In the fall, Garrett is set to enroll in the Cormier Honors College at Longwood University where she will major in political science.

“It gave me the experience I needed to decide not only what I wanted to major in, but also where I wanted to go to college,” Garrett said.

Garrett is from Farmville, and is the daughter of Dawn Schwartz and Jason Garrett.