More than 700 applied to be the voice of Georgia's students.
And of the 51 selected to serve on State Superintendent Kathy Cox's Student Advisory Council, one Thomson High School sophomore was selected.
Helen Hill, daughter of Steve and Jo Albert Hill, will travel to the Wardlaw Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta on Oct. 25 and on three other occasions throughout the year to discuss issues that affect students across the state.
Helen's interest in education led her to apply for the council. She said being named as one of the members for the 2004-2005 school year has been a thrill for her so far.
"I found out about it, and it looked really interesting and something that I would enjoy," Helen said. "I thought it would give me an opportunity to get out there and learn about other things."
Input from Helen and other students like her will be included in Ms. Cox's decision making process on educational issues that affect the entire state.
A Georgia Department of Education press release stated, "The mission of the Georgia Department of Education is that our state will lead the nation in improving student achievement, and the Council will play an important role in helping us achieve that goal. Student input and opinion will be highly valued as the Superintendent finds new ways to help all students achieve at their highest potential."
Some of the issues Helen wants to bring up in the Council's first meeting are ones that hit close to home with McDuffie County students.
"I want to mention some of the changes that we've made here locally and how they've affected us," she said.
The students that were chosen to participate in the Council were chosen by region. All of the applicants sent essays explaining why they should be chosen to serve on the Council and what they could bring to the group. Extracurricular activities were also taken into consideration.