Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative sent local students, Anna Handley, a junior at Central High School and Nolan Ensley, a sophomore at Rockmart High School, to the Georgia Cooperative Council Youth Leadership Conference held July 17-21. The conference is an educational experience for students all over Georgia to engage in real-world experiences that help them learn about both cooperatives and themselves. This year’s conference gave students the opportunity to participate in a mix of recreational activities and classroom lessons to enhance their leadership, teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I learned so much,” said Handley. “The other campers were fantastic, the hosts are so fun, and the relationships I formed here will definitely last beyond the week. I’m so blessed to have learned and grown so much as an individual with an awesome group of people.”
The Youth Leadership Conference is sponsored by electric cooperatives across the state, including Carroll EMC, with the goal of giving Georgia students a deeper understanding of the importance of cooperatives. The conference emphasized the Seven Cooperative Principles which include voluntary and open membership, democratic membership control, education and training for members, cooperation between co-ops and concern for local communities. The conference also stressed the solidarity and common good encouraged by co-ops as well as teaching practical leadership skills and encourage students to affect positive change in their local communities.
“The main purpose of electric cooperatives is to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity for its members,” says Taylor Key, Carroll EMC Community Relations Clerk. “Since cooperatives are owned by our members, it’s crucial for students and adults to learn about their value and importance.”
The students visited Walton EMC’s Community Solar Installation and Godfrey Dairy, a Dairy Farmers of America member, as well as a Congressional Insight workshop facilitated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).
To hear different perspectives from different co-ops, the group was joined by representatives from electric cooperatives across Georgia, the NRECA, Southern States, Farm Credit Associations and Dairy Farmers of America. Students also had the opportunity to spend time with Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Gary Black.
The 2017 Cooperative Youth Conference was made possible by generous support from the electric cooperatives of Georgia, Georgia Cooperative Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
Carroll EMC is a Member-owned cooperative providing electricity to approximately 50,000 homes and businesses. The co-op serves Members in Carroll, Haralson, Heard, Paulding, Polk and Troup counties. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. For more information visit the cooperative’s website at carrollemc.com or follow Carroll EMC on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. Carroll EMC: Community Built. Community Builder.
### PRESS RELEASE