The sixth-grade student at Factory Shoals Middle School was selected to represent Douglas County upon the recommendation of his former Sweetwater Elementary School social studies teacher, Rebecca Williams.
“I see a lot of students come and go through my classroom,” Williams said in a press release, “but Jalyn stands out. He is a delight in the classroom, always eager to learn and inquisitive.
“I nominated him for the Junior National Youth Leadership Conference because I know he will make the most of it. Who knows? Maybe one day he’ll be talking to future Junior National Youth Conference groups as a senator or president.”
This is not the first honor for Hickman, son of Sunni Hickman. He has been the recipient of the Presidential Educational Achievement Award, 2012 Principal’s Knight Award Recipient and English/Language Arts Achievement Award.
Hickman also was named Mr. Sweetwater Elementary School for 2012.
“This was an amazing experience for me,” Hickman said in an e-mail. “I learned a lot about leadership, courage and being an advocate for change in my school, community and country.”
The sixth-grader added, “It was an exciting journey throughout Washington, D.C., to see how our leaders used their voice to make a difference. This was a once in a lifetime trip.”
Students took part in educational activities and presentations and explored historic sites, such as Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, and Washington, D.C.’s museums and memorials.
They learned about notable U.S. leaders and historic figures, and studied the impact of leadership throughout critical periods of American history, including the Civil War, World War II, the Great Depression and Civil Rights movement.