Bogue Chitto student featured on Today Show Thursday morning

A Bogue Chitto student, attending an international Leadership Conference, will be featured on the NBC Today Show Thursday morning.

Terri Ferguson, a student at Bogue Chitto Attendance Center, was selected to attend the 2014 People To People’s Leadership Summit for media and communications at Pace University in New York City.

Ferguson is the daughter of Zetonnia Sterling and Joy Ferguson Jr. and is the granddaughter of Willie and Brenda Sims, of Wesson, and Debbie and Joy Ferguson Sr., of Bogue Chitto. She will be a 10th grader this fall at Bogue Chitto Attendance Center.

Ferguson was accepted into the People To People Ambassador Program and is the only student from Mississippi attending the conference this year.

The program will give the student a chance to meet and work with Ken Paulson, former editor in chief of USA Today, Chelsea White, producer of Girl Code, and Kenneth T. Walsh, chief White House correspondent for the U.S. News & World Report.

Terri Ferguson

Terri Ferguson

Ferguson will have opportunities to participate in a variety of activities specially designed to give students an in-depth and accurate experience in a media newsroom, including touring The Museum of the Moving Image and Sony Wonder Technology Lab.

The program helps students develop team dynamics and leadership expertise by letting them participate in workshops that focus on digital media, photojournalism, first amendment rights and service projects.

Sterling said that Terri chose bullying as the topic for her service presentation.

“She is very passionate about it,” Sterling said of her daughter’s choice for her presentation.

The presentation will be given by Ferguson at the end of the conference in front of a panel of media executives and will receive a credit evaluation followed by a celebration of the conference’s successes before the students return on their flights home.

Sterling said that her daughter is usually shy in school, but hopes the conference would help her build better public speaking skills.

Although Sterling is currently staying 30 minutes away from her daughter in Brooklyn, the conference’s policy calls for limited contact with parents to assist the students in developing their independence.

Sterling said she missed her daughter, but wanted her to have the full-experience of the program.

“I get two calls a day from Terri, once before she starts her day and once before she goes to bed, and she says she loves it,” said Sterling.

Sterling said that her daughter’s dream is to be a meteorologist and that she hopes her opportunities in New York will help her get a job with CNN or The Weather Channel. “She says she wants to be the female Jim Cantore.”

Sterling discussed Ferguson’s early interest in weather and said that her daughter always showed an eagerness to study meteorology.

“She used to say she wanted to be a ‘weather girl,’ but once she learned the professional name for it, she started saying how she wanted to be a’meteorologist,'” Sterling said.

Tiffani Coquat-Ferguson, the teacher that nominated Ferguson for the conference, said that Ferguson was an obvious choice for nomination.

“Terri is the prototype role model and this is a once in a lifetime cultural experience for her and I look forward to seeing what all she will accomplish in her future,” said Ferguson’s teacher.

The leadership conference will end on July 9 and Ferguson will return home from New York July 10.

Sterling said of her daughter’s time at the conference so far, “She is really hoping this experience will give her a competitive edge when she applies for meteorologist job later in life.”