Published 12:06 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

ECHS junior tours Montgomery, vies for D.C. tour

For Olivia Simmons, a trip to Montgomery recently was a life-changing experience.

The Escambia County High School junior participated in the Southern Pine Electric Cooperative’s Youth Tour, which was held March 6-8.

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Simmons interviewed well enough to go on the tour of the state capital, and is in the running for a spot to tour Washington, D.C. this summer. She’ll be going through another round of interviews soon.

Simmons said the Montgomery trip included learning about different electric cooperatives, how they’re ran and leadership skills.

When asked what was the most important thing she learned while in Montgomery, Simmons said it was about how one acts.

“That not everybody has to act like you to be a leader,” she said. “There are different types of leaders. Some lead by word; some lead by actions and attitude.”

Additionally, Simmons said the Montgomery trip included tours of the Alabama State House, the Legislature and the first White House of the Confederacy.

She said the experience of being there was life changing, adding that she learned a lot about the history of the state.

To get the chance to tour Montgomery, Simmons went through a first-round interview process.

She said the process involved her answering questions about current events, her personality and someone she admires.

Simmons said the interviewers also asked for her opinion on the situation between the United States and North Korea and gun control, among others.

“For something I can’t live without, it’s my personality because it’s who I am,” she said. “Who I admire is my cousin Ashley (Simpkins), she is involved, and has shown me the right things to do to get involved.”

At present, Simmons, who was nominated for the Southern Pine Cooperative Tour by ECHS Principal Dennis Fuqua and Counselor Ashley Trawick, is involved in Youth Leadership Atmore, is a Peer Helper, is on the Scholars Bowl and Math Teams, and is in the Student Government Association at the school. All the while, she is maintaining a 3.97 grade point average.

Her aim after high school is to go to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to study anesthesiology.

Simmons is the daughter of Alvin and Jacqueline Simmons of Atmore.