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Young leaders learn about government during co-op event in Nashville

NASHVILLE – Forty-six high school juniors from across the state were in Nashville this week for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s annual Youth Leadership Summit. Delegates to the event receive a hands-on look at state government, learn networking and leadership skills and develop a better understanding of their local electric cooperatives.

Tre Hargett, Tennessee Secretary of State, welcomed the students to the Capitol where they visited with legislators, sat in on committee meetings and debated and voted on a mock bill.

In addition to meeting lawmakers and experiencing the state Capital, students also developed their leadership and team-building skills at the Joe C. Davis YMCA Outdoor Center at Camp Widjiwagen, participated in an electric safety demonstration and completed a leadership training course with leadership expert Amy Gallimore. Delegates also attended a Nashville Predators hockey game as special guests of the Preds.

“When I was invited to go on the Youth Leadership Summit, I never thought I would be leaving with new friends and memories like the ones I have now,” said Nathan Salvador, a junior from Chester County High School and a YLS delegate from Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation in Henderson. “I am deeply honored to have been nominated to go and am forever grateful to the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. The knowledge I have now of electric cooperatives, specifically the teamwork and networking aspects, will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Delegates to the Youth Leadership Summit are encouraged to be leaders and use their talents to improve their communities. “The future of Tennessee is only as strong as the next generation of leaders,” says Todd Blocker, vice president of member services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and director of the Youth Leadership Summit. “Investing in these young people is a great opportunity to make a lasting impact on the communities we serve. These students are selected by their local electric co-ops, school officials and guidance counselors, and they are among the most talented students in the state. It is an honor to help them learn and grow.”

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