Southern Pine’s Cooperative Youth Leaders complete workshop

Published 1:37 pm Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Southern Pine’s Cooperative Youth Leaders recently spent three days in Jackson for ElectricCooperatives of Mississippi’s Cooperative Youth Leadership Workshop.

High school juniors Avery Daughdrill  of Prentiss, Michael Matte, Jackie Sills, Perry Fletcher and Savanna Edwards joined 80 students from across Mississippi for the workshop, which focused on leadership, team building, and state government.

Students engaged in activities to develop teamwork, leadership, active listening, and critical thinking skills. In addition, the youth leaders had breakfast with their state legislators. They had an opportunity to ask questions that were important to them.

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Senator Andy Berry led a tour of the Senate chamber, and Representative Mark Tullos toured the students around the House chamber. Both tours were eye-opening for the students. During the tour of the Mississippi State Capitol, students were able to meet many more of their state leaders.

Lunch at the Capitol Inn followed the visit to the Capitol and included a lesson on etiquette and Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hoseman addressing the group. The youth leaders ended Thursday with a magic show, dinner at Sal and Mookie’s, and a social hour.

Secretary of State Michael Watson met with the students on Friday, discussed the importance of voting, and fielded questions about topics important to young people. The group had honest, open discussions about a variety of issues.

Marshall Ramsey, editor-at-large of Mississippi Today and editorial cartoonist, imparted a special message at the end of the workshop that resonated with the young leaders.

The workshop ended with certificates of completion for all students, and the top 10 candidates for Youth Leadership Council delegate were announced. Southern Pine Youth Leaders Michael Matte and Jackie Sills were among the top 10 candidates.

All 85 students will participate in NRECA’s Youth Tour of Washington, D.C., in June, where they’ll meet students from across the United States, and tour the nation’s Capital.

Southern Pine Electric is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative that distributes electricity to more than 70,250 members in 11 central and south Mississippi counties.

Headquartered in Taylorsville, Southern Pine has district offices in Brandon, Newton, and New Hebron and a branch office in Hattiesburg.