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Students determined to lead well

Several students from Lincoln and Lawrence counties are participating in Cooperative University to earn spots in youth leadership workshops in the state and national capitals next year.

John Michael Chance of Brookhaven High School, Gracie Malone of Brookhaven Academy and Layna Myers of Loyd Star Attendance Center participated in Southwest Electric Power Associations’s  third annual Cooperative University at Macedonia Baptist Church in Brookhaven.

Carley Craig, also of BHS, will represent Magnolia Electric in the workshops.

Three students from Lawrence County High School —  Alissa Ladnier, Gabby  Ladd and Hannah Boyd — participated in the 2019 Mississippi Youth Leadership program sponsored by Magnolia and Southern Pine electric power associations.

Southern Pine’s Cooperative University will be held Dec. 4. Students representing Lawrence County are Kezia Smith and Brady Nations.

Magnolia Electric Power General Manager Darrell Smith is an active participant in Cooperative University.

“I look forward each year to discussing the history and purpose of Magnolia Electric Power with the students. I enjoy and appreciate their genuine interest and thoughtful input. They are at the top of their class and show great potential to lead Mississippi into the future,” Smith said.

Magnolia Member Services Director Lucy Shell agreed with Smith’s thoughts and added that “each year, we tell our nominees that they should know that they are already winners when they come in the door because they were chosen by their schools as leaders in their communities,” Shell said. “Their dedication and commitment to make the world better is already being noticed.”

The student representatives will have a chance to compete to be a delegate for the National Youth Leadership Council and win a $1,000 scholarship.

During the state youth workshop, students will tour the Mississippi State Capitol, meet with legislators, and visit the legislative galleries where they will see debates on legislation. They will learn about electric cooperatives, hear speakers, and take part in several group exercises aimed at building cooperation, trust, and leadership skills.

They will travel to Washington D.C. in June to tour the nation’s capital.

At the Cooperative University, the students had a full day of learning about electricity, hearing from state legislators, learning about the history and purpose of rural electric cooperatives, talking to a lineman and a meter technician about their work and the tools they use and participating in interviews with out-of-town judges.

The students will attend a three-day workshop in February in Jackson, meeting other youth leaders across the state, eating breakfast with their state legislators, listening to the governor and lieutenant governor, doing team-building exercises and discussing and solving issues in a town hall setting.

They will also spend seven days in Washington D.C. with 1,800 students from 42 states touring the city, seeing memorials and monuments and meeting the senators and their respective representatives.

The Youth Leadership Program is open to juniors in high school whose parents or guardians are members of a cooperative electric company.