Youth Leadership Program

Dixie Electric accepts applications for its Youth Leadership Program in the fall each year. This is a fun-filled, educational opportunity for 11th grade students in Dixie Electric’s service area. Students must be available to participate in all of the assigned dates.

Here is a list of dates for 2017-2018.

  • Youth Leadership University – Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 – This day will consist of speakers, games, lunch and a power plant tour.
  • Youth Tour Interviews – Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 – Out-of-town judges will select two students to go to the Youth Leadership Workshop in Jackson and the Youth Tour of Washington, D.C.
  • Youth Leadership Workshop – Feb. 21-23, 2018 – An opportunity to develop leadership skills, experience the political process in action and meet other students from across the state.
  • Youth Tour of Washington, D.C. – June 9-15, 2018 – Amazing tour of the sites of Washington, D.C. and a first-hand look at the political process on the national level.
  • American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life – April 27, 2018, in Jones County and May 7, 2018, in Petal; Volunteer at Dixie Electric’s tent and receive community service hours.

Brochures and Information

Youth Leadership Program Guidelines – Includes the dates, guidelines and requirements
Official Entry Form for the Youth Leadership Program
Youth Leadership Program Overview

The deadline for entries is Sept. 8, 2017. If you are interested in participating in the program, you must speak to your high school guidance counselor. If you are a home school student, contact Pollyanna Magee at the Laurel office at (601) 425-2535. 

Mississippi electric cooperatives invest in their youth for 30 years

The Electric Power Associations of Mississippi’s Youth Leadership Program, now in its 30th year, has grown significantly since the first group met in Jackson in 1987.

Electric cooperatives from all areas of Mississippi now participate in the program. Each year they send students from their communities to the capital city for a three-day workshop where the students participate in leadership building activities and have the opportunity to meet with their legislators and state elected officials.

Trael Hinton, Sam Sumrall and Lex Anna Thompson were selected among the

Youth Leadership Students 2016
Trael Hinton, Lex Anna Thompson, Sam Sumrall

schools in Dixie Electric Power Association’s service area to represent the cooperative during this hands-on event. They were joined by other students from across the state, who have also demonstrated leadership traits in their schools and communities.

“We’re extremely excited about the growth and direction of the program,” said Ron Stewart, senior vice president of communications for the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi.

“Our goal is to provide these young people the tools they need to be successful throughout their lives. The program would not be possible without the support of the cooperative’s general managers and board members, as well as our state legislators who fully support the young people in their communities.”

This year was the largest group to attend the workshop with 78 of Mississippi’s brightest high school juniors who came together at the Marriott in downtown Jackson, Feb. 24-26. The event began on Wednesday evening with a “Get Acquainted” session. The students took part in a Town Hall meeting, which encouraged them to discuss issues they are facing as young people. Together, they developed solutions to these issues, which they could use to make a difference among their peers in their own communities.

The students enjoyed a breakfast with their legislators before visiting the Mississippi State Capitol where they were able to see those same men and women at work making laws for our state. They also heard encouraging speeches from motivational speakers, as well as Mississippi’s top leaders, Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.

Meeting their state representatives
Our youth leadership students enjoyed breakfast with Reps. Shane Barnett, Larry Byrd and Gary Staples.

Gov. Bryant has been a strong supporter of the program since being elected to office, always making it a point to visit with the students each year. During a luncheon at the Old Capitol Inn, the governor encouraged the students to return to their communities after college and to use their talents toward improving our state.

“There are so many opportunities for you in Mississippi to take on leadership roles in this state. Whether you go on to college or choose a technical trade, Mississippi is leading the nation in automobile production and telemedicine. We have nationally recognized hospitals for those planning to go into the medical field and our community colleges are top rated in the nation. There are many advantages to staying right here at home.”

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves also spoke to the group, and reminded them that anyone can reach their goals with hard work and determination and that no dream is “too big.” He reassured the students that they have the ability to make a difference in their schools and communities.

Building leaders is fundamental to building a strong community and through this program; Dixie Electric hopes to prepare these young people for a bright future. The program has proven to encourage students to reach their goals year after year and the students take away lifelong relationships.

“We are proud to have these three young people represent Dixie Electric,” said Randy Smith, general manager. “We know that these students have worked hard in their studies and to make a positive impact in the community. We believe they will do great things in the future and believe in the investment we are making in these students each year.”

Trael, Sam and Lex Anna will travel with the group to Washington, D.C., in June where they will have the opportunity to visit with Mississippi’s congressional delegation on Capitol Hill, as well as visit all of the popular sites and monuments of our nation’s capital on the seven-day tour.

South Mississippi Electric, Dixie Electric’s wholesale power provider, is sponsoring a Dixie Electric student for the 2016 Youth Leadership Workshop and Youth Tour.