Local students selected to leadership programs
Published 10:21 am Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Two Brookhaven students were chosen by their local electric cooperatives to participate in the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi Youth Leadership Workshop in Jackson in February and the National Youth Leadership trip to Washington D.C. this summer.
Brooke Myers of Bogue Chitto High School and Katherine Shell of Brookhaven High School were both selected through different programs, but both were chosen for their overall leadership in their communities.
Myers was the representative for Magnolia Electric Power; Shell was the representative for Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association.
How they were selected
Myers competed in MEP’s Cooperative University, which judges the students on leadership and an interview. A panel of out-of-town judges critiques and scores the students on the first day and another panel of judges select their top winners from the interview process. The scores of both days are combined to give the overall winners.
Shell competed in an essay competition on “What Her Electric Cooperative Means to Her.” From the essays, which are judged by officials at Alcorn State University, winners were chosen and the top five essay winners attended an interview session at Southwest MS EPA in Lorman, where a second panel of judges chose the top two winners.
During the state youth workshop, held in February in Jackson, 60 plus students from across the state of Mississippi came together to tour the Mississippi State Capitol, meet with legislators and visit the legislative galleries. They also learned about electric cooperatives, heard dynamic speakers and took part in several group exercises aimed at building cooperation, trust and leadership skills.
Myers and Shell then traveled with their group to Washington D.C. in June. The week-long trip included seeing sites such as the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, MLK Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Ford’s Theatre, Mt. Vernon, the Smithsonian museums, a boat cruise on the Potomac River and ending the week with a night at the Nationals Park to see a baseball game.
During the week the group spent a day at Capitol Hill, which included a private tour of the U.S. Capitol building, including the privilege to visit the U.S. House floor and then view the Washington Mall from the Speaker’s Balcony.
Another highlight of the tour was the popular Marine Corps Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima Memorial.
“I thought they’d both be really good experiences, especially for meeting people not just from Brookhaven but all around Mississippi,” Shell said. “I wanted to widen my leadership abilities and got to go to Washington D.C. and that was a great trip to go on.”
Most recently, 17-year-old Shell has put her leadership abilities to work by becoming president of the student council. Shell also participates in softball, soccer, cheer, is in the National Honors Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Shell said after graduation, she will attend East Central Community College in Decatur to play fast-pitch softball. She will study biology for pre-med. Shell said she made lifelong friendships because of her conference experience.
Myers said her favorite part of the trip was visiting the monument dedicated to her favorite president, FDR.
“My sister went her year and she made friendships that will last a lifetime,” Myers said. “And touring the nation’s capitol was amazing. I made great friendships. [Leadership skills] make me into a better person overall and I love helping others.”
Myers, 17, has also continued to hone her leadership skills. Myers was elected student council president, senior beta president, senior class president as well as being chosen as the Daughters of the American Revolution student representative for Bogue Chitto and landed a spot on homecoming court. She plays softball and is co-captain of cheer squad. Myers said she plans to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College before the University of Southern Mississippi to obtain a bachelor’s in nursing to become and labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum traveling nurse.