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ETCA DC Trip June 2010
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LWC Energy Technology Career Academy Students Attend National Conference

Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2010 [4:06 PM]

ETCA DC Trip June 2010
LWC Energy Technology Career Academy Director Heather Spoon, far left, and he son,
Connor, 6, center, are joined by the ETCA students from Adair and Russell County high
schools in front of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Until last month, Brittany Combs of Columbia had never visited Washington, D.C.

And although her first trip was a whirlwind visit of the nation's capital, it's one Combs says she will never forget.

Combs was among 12 students from Adair and Russell County high schools who attended the National Energy Education Development Project National Youth Awards, held June 25-28 in Washington, D.C.

The students are members of the Lindsey Wilson College Energy Technology Career Academy. In May, they received NEED's National High School Rookie of the Year award, along with several other state awards. That earned the students a trip to the national conference.

"It definitely sparked more an interest in pursuing an energy-related career," said Combs, who will be a senior this fall at Adair County High School. "I just learned so much about Washington and about energy while there. It was a great experience, and I was grateful I got to attend it."

Founded in 2008 by Lindsey Wilson, the ETCA enrolls students at Adair and Russell county high schools. Classes are taught by Spoon and other Lindsey Wilson faculty. The ETCA is funded through grants from Siemens Industry Inc., the Appalachian Regional Commission, Lindsey Wilson, and more than a dozen Adair and Russell county businesses.

ETCA Director Heather Spoon said all 12 of the students experienced similar life-changing experiences at the national conference. In addition to learning about energy issues and meeting with students from all over the United States, the ETCA students also visited Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield's office and toured several of the monuments.

"The students got a better idea about what they want to do with their lives -- the trip just opened up a lot of possibilities for them," Spoon said. "The students were amazed at what's available to them and the careers available to them in energy."

One of those students was Jason Davis of Russell Springs, Ky.

Davis, who will be a senior this fall at Russell County High School, said the trip made him interested in possibly working in NEED's national office.

"The trip and being a member of the program helped me out a whole lot," said Davis, who has been a member of the ETCA since his sophomore year. "It's helped me figure out what I should be when I get out of high school."

Spoon said the trip would not have been possible without the generosity of more than a dozen area residents and businesses. In addition to Lindsey Wilson, several individuals and local businesses combined to donate more than $7,000 so the students had few expenses on the trip.

"I could not have asked for a better group of kids to have taken to Washington, D.C.," Spoon said. "In addition to learning about what's available in the energy field for them, the trip was an opportunity for students to see what is outside of Kentucky. They told me they will never forget this trip. They made lifetime memories on it."

The students who attended the trip from the ETCA Adair County High School program were: Jacob Burton, Brittany Combs, J.D. Coomer, Brandon Joseph, Macgyver Manning, Candace Mullins, Noah Schwika, Cody S. Taylor and Casey Webb.

The students who attended the trip from the ETCA Russell County High School program were: Jason Davis, Jose Rodriguez and Matthew Russell.

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