Southwest Electric student representatives attend leadership workshop

Published 8:22 am Saturday, March 16, 2024

LORMAN — Southwest Electric sent four student representatives to the Cooperative Leaders Workshop February 21-23 in Jackson, MS. The students chosen for this year’s program are Peyton Bell from Natchez Early College Academy, Ava Calcote from Brookhaven Academy, Xavien Felton from Franklin County High School and Avery Sellers from Loyd Star Attendance Center.

The selection process for the program started with 18 high school juniors from 10 high schools attending a two-day Cooperative University in Port Gibson, MS, in December. They learned about electricity, heard from state legislators, learned about the history and purpose of rural electric cooperatives, talked to linemen, an engineer and a meter technician about their work and the tools they use. Some of the students returned on the second day to be interviewed by out-of-town judges.

At the three-day Workshop, Peyton, Ava, Xavien and Avery had the opportunity to meet 81 other youth leaders across the state, participate in team-building exercises and discuss issues in a town hall setting. State Senators Albert Butler and Jason Barrett and State Representatives Becky Currie and Vince Mangold spent time with the students at the legislative breakfast and at the state Capitol building on Thursday. Rep. Mangold gave the students a tour of the House floor.

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“We are proud to have these students represent our cooperative,” said CEO Kevin Bonds. “The Cooperative Youth Leaders Program is an important part of our commitment to the communities we serve.”

The students will spend seven days in June in Washington, D.C., with 1,800 students from 42 states touring the city, seeing memorials and monuments while learning the history.

Southwest Electric has sponsored students in this program for 35 years. It is open to high school juniors living in its service area. For more information about the program, visit

Southwest Electric is a Member-owned electric cooperative based in Lorman, MS, that provides power to over 25,000 meters in Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Copiah, Franklin, Hinds, Jefferson, Lincoln and Wilkinson counties. The cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.