Students Get Crash Course on Local Government

7:13 PM, Sep 11, 2013   |    comments
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The upcoming mayoral election reminds us that local government plays a big role in the community. During their junior year, Hayley Reynolds and Chelsea Carr, both 17, took part in the Georgia Civic Awareness Program for Students.

"We just went to a lot of different places around the county like the fire station, the terminal station, and we learned about how the government works at the county level," said Carr.

"I think at the jail, it was apparent that you know they didn't have a lot of money for all the medications that the prisoners required," said Reynolds.

Reynolds said people see buildings downtown, but don't really think about what goes on inside.

"It's kind of opened my eyes to see how these people really live, what their income is, how the consolidation is going to affect them, especially the police stations," added Reynolds.

Carr will never forget visiting the fire department.

"You know, every little boy grows up and firefighter is one of their dream jobs. It's just kind of weird seeing that job in reality. Like the wages aren't that high and the hours aren't that great," said Carr.

Students also visited the state capitol building in Atlanta.
That was the first year that schools in Bibb County took part in the program.

With the Macon-Bibb consolidation coming up, program manager Kevin Barrere said this year should be especially exciting.

"Maybe once in your lifetime that a new government gets started, if that. So it's kind of an exciting time here. We'll probably do something with the mayor, whoever the new mayor is," said Barrere.

Reynolds and Carr don't plan on going into government when they finish college, but they do say this has been an eye-opening experience, and that adults aren't the only ones who should be concerned with politics and government.

Barrere said juniors and seniors from around Bibb County, in both private and public schools, are welcome to apply. The application deadline has been pushed to Friday, September 20. You can contact Barrere via email at

The program was developed by the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia.

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