Chilhowee Middle School student going to Global Citizens Festival

Chilhowee Middle School Student Going to Global Citizens Festival (Image: WTVC)

UPDATE (10/5): Nakia Woody has returned from the Global Citizens Fest.


Chilhowee Middle School is in its second year as a member of the Verizon Innovative Learning Program. It promotes using technology to help develop learning for students.

They are given access to technology to help them learn and show its importance in the classroom. One student from this school will get to share her experience in that program in front of thousands of people.

"It's a small town in a small school,” said seventh-grader Nakia Woody, a student at Chilhowee Middle School.

She was featured in a commercial for Verizon's Innovative Learning program. After the commercial, she got a surprise phone call.

"One of the ladies got on the call and she started saying all this stuff about how they're going to fly us to New York,” she said.

Nakia was one of two students picked in the country to go to the Global Citizens Festival in New York City. It is a festival that promotes ending extreme poverty by 2030 and Verizon is a sponsor of the event.

"I'm going to walk the red carpet with the CEO is what she said. Be able to meet new people,” Nakia said.

“She said I'll get to be their VIP for a couple of days.”

Woody will also get a chance to describe the way technology made her a better student.

"It's improved my interest, how I learn and it's given us some more hands-on ability to learn,” she said.

Connie Dunn, the principal at Chilhowee Middle School, thinks Nakia Is a perfect pick to personify Polk County and Verizon Wireless.

"She's outgoing, she's outspoken, she's energetic,” Dunn said.

“She makes friends easily, she's involved and knows what her goals are and she sets out to get those goals.”

Every student at Chilhowee Middle School has an iPad and 5 free gigs of internet data at home.

"We're very grateful for the impact Verizon has made on our little school and county,” Woody said.

Nakia plans to leave for New York September 28 and take the stage at the day-long festival on Saturday, September 29. Over 50,000 people are expected to attend.

50 school systems in the country are a part of the Verizon Innovative Learning program. Chilhowee Middle School was acknowledged as the most technology-driven school last year.

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