• June 18, 2018

Last week, St. Patrick Catholic High School rising senior Stephen Azar attended the ECM Youth Leadership Program in Washington, D.C., representing Coast Electric Power Association.

Mississippi’s student delegation joined more than 1,700 high school juniors from 47 states across the nation at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. June 11-15, 2018. During the week-long trip, students visited significant monuments and memorials, the White House, the Smithsonian Institution and much more. They met with Mississippi’s two senators and their respective representative at the U.S. Capitol.

The purpose of these trips is to help students develop the confidence and ability to become better leaders in their schools and communities, stimulate their interest in governmental affairs and encourage their participation in the democratic process, inform them about their electric cooperative and the cooperative form of business, and foster interaction among students from communities throughout Mississippi and the nation.

On the experience, Stephen said, “Through this program, I have learned the importance of forming strong bonds with peers.  I plan to use this knowledge at St. Patrick by forming lasting relationships with students that I may not know very well now, as these relationships will reap great benefits in the future. The most impactful experience I had during the trip was visiting the Holocaust Museum. Standing just a few feet away from the shoes of the victims was chilling, and it opened my eyes to the sheer amount of human suffering that has existed in the past and continues on today.”

He continues, “My favorite part of the trip was visiting the Newseum. While I did not have high expectations before entering the museum, I ended up thoroughly enjoying nearly all of the exhibits.  In particular, the pictures of the year and the Pulitzer-winning photographs evoked strong emotions in me. It was an incredible experience.”
Photos of the trip can be found below!