Stephen Azar selected for 2018 Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Youth Leadership program

Coast Electric Power Association selected four outstanding high school juniors to represent the cooperative as part of the 2018 Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Youth Leadership program. Stephen Azar of St. Patrick High School, Gage McClinton of Pearl River Central High School, Marion Pohl of Bay High School and Conner Thurtell of Long Beach High School will serve as Coast Electric’s representatives in a leadership program that will take students to Jackson in February and to Washington, D.C., in June.

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. The three-day leadership workshop in Jackson focuses on developing the leadership skills of students who have demonstrated a desire to be a leader among their peers. Students meet with their elected officials and participate in leadership-building workshops and activities with students from around the state.

In June, Mississippi’s student delegation will join 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. During the week-long trip, students visit significant monuments and memorials, the White House, the Smithsonian Institution and much more. They meet Mississippi’s two senators and their respective representative at the U.S. Capitol.

“Each year, we have the privilege of meeting the top students in our three-county area at our selection process,” said Coast Electric Vice President of Public Relations and Member Services Melissa Russo. “This year’s candidates were not only academically gifted but really work to serve their schools and communities. We are honored to have four representatives like Stephen, Marion, Conner and Gage who are already doing so much to further Coast Electric’s mission of improving the lives of the people in our communities.”

On the selection, Azar said, “I hope to understand how to be a better leader and serve my community by meeting other leaders around the nation and learning from them.”

SPCHS Junior Stephen Azar