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Your local electric power association, in an effort to better acquaint the future leaders of our communities with cooperative philosophy, participates with all other rural electric cooperatives in Mississippi in a statewide Youth Leadership Program. The program is designed to provide participants with an opportunity to learn about electric power associations, how and why cooperatives operate, and how electricity is distributed, in addition to sharpening their leadership skills.
The Electric Power Associations of Mississippi Youth Leadership Program offers young people the tools and knowledge that will enable them to sharpen their leadership skills in the classroom, community and family. The program has been a tremendous success and is now in its twenty-sixth year. Each year the program grows, and it is our wish that this outstanding program will continue to involve more young people in the future. It's an educational and fun experience that will make a lasting impact on young people.
The group of young Mississippians participating in the program will represent electric power associations across the state. Students must be in the 11th grade and are selected through various forms of competition conducted by the local electric power associations. In 2011-2012, more than 850 young people were involved in the program selection process.
Students will attend a leadership workshop in Jackson, February 27 to March 1, 2013. At this workshop they will study the finer aspects of leadership, enjoy a first-hand look at our state government in action and hear presentations from government leaders, local business leaders and rural electric power association professionals.
At our 2013 workshop, students will participate in team-building exercises conducted by professional instructors. Using hands-on techniques provides a unique opportunity for participants to understand the importance of working with others to achieve common goals. Educational sessions are conducted that provide information about the electric utility industry and the electric power association network that serves more than 1.8 million Mississippians. In addition to the workshop activities, the workshop features breakfast with students' respective state senator and representative, a visit to the Capitol and a banquet at the exclusive Capital Club.
More than 1,500 high school juniors from across the nation will join the Mississippi delegation June 15-21, 2013 in Washington, D.C., for the Rural Electric Youth Tour. During the week they will learn about cooperatives, rural electrification, the city and government.
During the week-long visit Mississippi's student delegation will visit the popular monuments and memorials, the nation's Capitol, the White House and much more. They will visit with Mississippi's two senators and with their respective representative. Students will also witness the popular changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetry. For added entertainment, representatives join students from other states for a night boat cruise on the Potomac River and a dinner/dance. A day at the Smithsonian will also be on the schedule.
While the Youth Tour is a wonderful sight-seeing experience, it also offers an opportunity for making friends. During the week, students will meet with young people from across the country. Life-long friendships will be developed. We will also have lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, a very popular restaurant. There will be time for shopping and relaxation. Nothing is missed.
Each year one student is selected to represent Mississippi on the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Leadership Council. The selection is made at the Youth Leadership Workshop through a comprehensive process including personal interviews. The Youth Leadership Council selection in 2012 was Alise Mathews representing Dixie Electric Power Association. Alise will serve a one-year term and will participate in the 2012 annual meeting of the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi held September 2012. The distinguished honor provides many other opportunities. Past winners have served as summer staff members of Mississippi congressmen and others have worked in Washington as a full-time summer NRECA employee. This honor is worth the effort to participate.
The 2013 YLC member will serve a one-year term beginning June 1, 2013. The office of YLC member is a very prestigious honor and it carries many responsibilities. The member will attend a five-day youth leadership conference in Washington, D.C., July 20-24, 2013 with YLCs from states across the nation. The member will travel to Biloxi on Sunday, September 8-9, 2013 to attend the statewide annual meeting of the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi. At this meeting, the council member will speak to a group of 250 attendees at the annual business session on Monday, September 9. They will also attend the NRECA Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., March 1-5, 2014. At this meeting, council members from across the United States will be recognized for their achievements. The member will be asked to write brief remarks about their involvement in the program and provide permission for those to be used in promotional materials for the 2014 program.The 2013 YLC member will receive a $1,000 scholarship upon fulfillment of all duties. This scholarship is awarded at the student’s high school awards day.
To the parents this might be the best part of the program. The total expense of the trip is funded by participating electric power associations. There are no hidden costs as associations pay for all travel, lodging, meals, educational materials and admission costs. This support demonstrates their commitment to local young people and desire to provide a quality leadership program that prepares our precious young people for the challenges life offers.
Contact your local electric power association.
"Being a part of this program has truly been a blessing and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have been given."
"The EPAs Youth Tour has shown me the history and culture of our nation and I have more pride in our country and its people than ever before."
-2011 Student Participants