From a hands-on safety and “Life of a Lineman” demonstration to a guided tour of East Mississippi Electric Power Association’s headquarters, 14 students from across east Mississippi recently experienced first hand what it means to be part of an electric cooperative. EMEPA hosted Cooperative University in October as part of its annual Youth Leadership Program.
From the group of 14, five students were selected based on an interview process and leadership skills observed throughout the event to represent EMEPA at a three-day Youth Leadership Workshop in Jackson, coordinated by the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi (ECM). At this event, the students will be met by 80 other students from across the state. The Workshop allows students the opportunity to take a closer look at our state government as well as participate in leadership-enhancing activities.
In June 2019, these five students will again represent EMEPA on a seven-day, all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. This trip features visits to popular monuments and memorials as well as meetings with Mississippi’s senators and representatives.
“Our Youth Leadership Program is a tremendous opportunity for these students to see our political process first hand,” said EMEPA Director of Marketing and Communication Julie Boles. “The goal of this program is to educate students about electric cooperatives and our state and national legislature and to encourage them to grow as leaders and get involved in their communities.”
Each school in EMEPA’s service area is given the opportunity to nominate one student from its junior class to participate in the program. The schools are encouraged to select the student based on academics, involvement in their school and community, natural leadership ability and a desire to further their skills in becoming future leaders.
The 2018-2019 Youth Leadership Program participants are:
Ralie Boles, Clarkdale High School
Milaree Keely, Enterprise High School
Maggie Phillips, Grace Christian School *
Trever Smith, Kemper Academy
Khadijah Bell, Lamar School *
Kristian Hopkins, Louisville High School
Emily Luke, Nanih Waiya Attendance Center
Daneel Konnar, Northeast Lauderdale High School*
Ryan Whitfield, Noxapater Attendance Center
Jennifer Adee, Quitman High School
Judson Moore, Russell Christian Academy*
Savannah Davis, Southeast Lauderdale High School
Shelbie Reid, West Lauderdale High School *
Logan Hudson, Winston Academy
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) sponsors the Youth Tour program nationally. Nineteen electric power associations in Mississippi participate.
* Students selected to advance to the ECM Youth Leadership Workshop in Jackson and the NRECA Youth Tour in Washington, D.C.