More than 45 high school juniors from across the state attended the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s annual Youth Leadership Summit March 13–15 in Nashville.
Sen. Jim Tracy on Tuesday, March 14, greeted delegates attending the three-day leadership and government workshop. Tracy welcomed the young leaders to the Senate Chamber of the Tennessee State Capitol where Alan Whittington, assistant chief clerk of the Senate, explained the process required to pass legislation. Students had the opportunity to debate and vote on a mock bill.
Reps. Mike Bell and John Ray Clemmons joined Sen. Tracy for a town hall meeting with attendees. The three discussed the legislative process and answered questions posed by summit attendees. Delegates then had the opportunity to listen in on debate in House and Senate committee meetings in Legislative Plaza.
In addition to a hands-on look at state government, delegates to the event learned team-building and problem-solving skills and developed a better understanding of their local electric cooperatives.
“It was an honor to be selected for the Youth Leadership Summit. It was a great experience. I learned a lot and met some wonderful people. If I could do it all over again I would,” says Khayla Love-Glenn, a junior from North Side High School attending the Youth Leadership Summit. Munford High School’s Jackson Arthur said, “YLS gave me the experience to see first-hand how electric cooperatives from across the state go above and beyond to help their communities. It also opened my eyes to all the possibilities there are within a cooperative. It was definitely an amazing and unforgettable trip full of many friendships that were made with students from all across the state.”
Delegates to the Youth Leadership Summit are encouraged to be leaders and use their talents to improve rural Tennessee. “Local electric co-ops, school officials and guidance counselors chose these deserving students to attend the summit based on their interests in government and strong leadership abilities,” says Todd Blocker, vice president of member relations for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and director of the Youth Leadership Summit. “They will be the next generation of leaders in rural Tennessee, and we want to prepare them for the challenges and opportunities they will face.”
“We want these students to share our passion for rural Tennessee and help them appreciate the things that make our rural communities special,” says David Callis, CEO of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Each year we are encouraged by the caliber of young people who call rural Tennessee ‘home.’”