Oak Grove students reflect on summer youth tour of nation’s capital

Two Oak Grove High School students returned to school after attending the Youth Tour held by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 10:47 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Two Oak Grove High School students, Abigail Hammons and Connor Gibson, returned to school after attending the Youth Tour held by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Gibson and Hammons joined 61 other Mississippi students selected by different electric companies across the state to attend conferences and build leadership skills in Washington D.C. over the summer.

“This experience has been very beneficial to everything that I do,” said Hammons. “I was able to learn so much from the team building exercises and all the different leadership skills that they taught us. I was able to come back and apply that in all the different activities I’m involved in.”

Gibson said he agreed that the program was valuable and made him appreciate his home state even more.

“I think that this program serves a very valuable purpose because it allows young people to see the hard work that they are doing to make Mississippi a better place,” said Gibson. “It encourages young people to stay right here for college and to come back and to grow families right here in the Pine Belt.”

Gibson and Hammons were selected as the representatives for Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association this year. They were chosen from a pool of students who had to submit resumes, competing for a chance to attend.

Many people are unaware that these companies hold leadership programs, but both students encourage others to get involved.

“What Pearl River Valley is doing is investing directly in young people, and that is something that needs to be encouraged through other entities, however we can do it,” said Gibson. “I love to see what they are doing because it allows young people to see that they have a place for them right here in Hattiesburg, right here in the Pine Belt. That allows young people to have an enormous sense of pride in our state and our community.”

More information on the PRVEPA Youth Leadership Program can be found here.

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