10 I Today in Mississippi
COAST ELECTRIC’S FUTURE LEADERS
Richard, Jayde, Allie and Victoria visit with Rep. Steven Palazzo in his Washington, D.C., office.
Each year, Coast Electric sponsors high school juniors on a tour of Washington, D.C., in June. They join other students representing hundreds of cooperatives from Mississippi and across the United States. The delegates are all like-minded students who are motivated to succeed and become leaders in their communities. This tour is memorable, not only because these young people are able to visit their nation’s capital, but they also make life-long friendships that benefit them well into their adult years. The Youth Tour is supported locally by Coast Electric, organized statewide by the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi and nationally by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). More than 1,800 students from 44 states participate annually. This year, Allie Estorge, Victoria Feazelle, Richard Springer and Jayde Toncrey joined 66 of Mississippi’s brightest young people while representing Coast Electric. They were chosen through an application and interview process. Allie is the daughter of David and Jaime Estorge of Gulfport and will be a senior at Gulfport High School. Victoria will be a senior at Hancock High School and is the daughter of Shawn and Vickie Feazelle of Diamondhead. Richard Springer is the son of Melvin and Katherine Springer of Biloxi. He will be a senior at St. Patrick Catholic High School. Jayde will be a senior at D’Iberville High School and is the son of Phillip and Brooke Rushing of Biloxi. The week-long trip featured visits to the major monuments and memorials, including the World War II Memorial, FDR Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. “I am incredibly thankful for such an amazing experience. I got to experience D.C., in a whole new way and grow closer to so many amazing people. This tour gave me the chance to grow in my leadership skills, laugh and have fun with people from all across the nation. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportuni-Victoria Feazelle ty that I will never forget.” said Allie. Diamondhead, Miss. A trip to the Marine Corps War Memorial was one of the first stops on the tour, followed by a trip to the Air Force Memorial on the grounds of Fort
“This once-in-a-lifetime trip has made a huge impact on my life due to the great new friends I’ve made, and the beautiful city I was able to explore.”
Myer near the Pentagon. After a drive down Massachusetts Avenue, informally known as Embassy Row, the students were taken on a guided tour of the Washington National Cathedral, the second largest cathedral in the U.S. The cathedral has played a vital role in our nation’s history, serving as a grand spiritual center where Americans can unite to worship, pray and mourn. Later in the week, the students attended the popular Sunset Parade at the Marine Corps War Memorial and enjoyed a performance by the U.S. Marine Forces Reserve Band. While visiting Arlington National Cemetery, the students respectfully watched the changing of the guard and visited the gravesite of President John F. Kennedy The students spent a day touring the Smithsonian Museums, including the museums of Air and Space, American History, Natural History and the National Gallery of Art. Other popular events of the tour were a stop by the Newseum, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and an evening cruise down the Potomac River. The students were also able to watch the Washington Nationals play the Texas Rangers in Nationals Park. “Youth Tour provided me with opportunities and experiences you won’t find on any other trip,” said Richard. In addition to sightseeing, the students also spent a day on Capitol Hill, which began with a special tour of the U.S. House Floor graciously hosted by Rep. Gregg Harper. While in the Capitol building, the students enjoyed a panoramic view of Washington, D.C., from the speaker’s balcony. After the tour, Coast Electric representatives joined a smaller group to visit with Rep. Steven Palazzo in his D.C., office. The congressman spoke to the group about what it takes to be a leader and the importance of setting goals and striving to achieve them. During the visit to Capitol Hill, students also had the opportunity to meet with Sen. Roger Wicker. “Getting to meet the great state of Mississippi’s future doctors, lawyers and politicians has shown me that together we can change the future,” said Jayde. "I have seen the positive impact the Youth Tour program has on its participants," said Coast Electric President and CEO Ron Barnes. "I am grateful to our members and our board for supporting this program that brings so much to young people in our community. I am proud of this year's representatives and know there are great things ahead for them." Coast Electric congratulates these students on their accomplishments.
Today in Mississippi August 2017 Coast