Area students win youth tour competition
Each year Southern Pine Electric Cooperative sponsors the Washington, D. C., and Alabama Youth Tour competition. Four area youth are chosen as Washington, D. C. Youth Tour representatives and receive a week-long, all-expense paid trip to the nation's capitol in June.
The trip, which is sponsored annually by a number of electric cooperatives across the U.S.A., offers these young people the opportunity to learn and explore with more than 1,500 other youth.
While in Washington the youth tour representatives will visit numerous major tourist attractions, and participate in informative leadership conferences.
They will also learn about the important role electric cooperatives play in today's economy and the significant part politics plays in the lives of electric co-ops.
Another twelve area youth received the honor of being chosen as Alabama Youth Tour representatives. These students received a three-day, all-expense paid trip to Montgomery, from Feb. 28 through March 2.
They will join approximately 120 youth from across the state as they visited local sites of interest, participated in leadership conferences and learned about the important relationship between electric cooperatives and government.
The faculty of each area high school was asked to select one of their top male and female students to compete in the competition.
Interviews were conducted with 25 high school juniors from schools throughout the general service area of Southern Pine Electric Cooperative.
Those students chosen to compete were: Ben Hetzel and Jessica Nesmith of Escambia Academy; Shanice Staples and Justin Gates of Escambia County High School; Jose Flores and Dallas Jordan, Excel High School; Jonathan McMath and Jessica Morris of Flomaton High School; Jessica Kyles and Jeffery Williams, Frisco City High School; Chris Harris and Annice' Jessie, Hillcrest High School; Ivory Fountain and Jamar Kidd, J. F. Shields High School; Alise King and Johnathan Presley, J. U. Blacksher High School; Hillary Sawyer and Chris Smith of Monroe Academy; Bryson Abney and Stephanie Cunningham, Monroe County High School; Katelin Hulley and Jared Cooper, W. S. Neal High School; Chase Brown of Sparta Academy; and Kaitlyn Griffin and Kenneth Kelly Stallworth of T. R. Miller High School.
Students were evaluated by a panel of judges according to their knowledge of the history of Southern Pine Electric Co-op and the rural electrification process, the general operating procedures of cooperatives and the role of government in the rural electrification program.
They were also questioned concerning their knowledge of current events and Touchstone Energy®.
Notable consideration was given to the academic achievements and extracurricular activities of each student. Leadership abilities and overall character and demeanor were also considered.
The four outstanding scholars chosen to represent Southern Pine as the 2006 Washington, D. C., Youth Tour representatives were: Bryson Abney of Monroe County High School; Kelly Stallworth of T. R. Miller High School; Katelin Hulley of W. S. Neal High School; and Kaitlyn Griffin of T. R. Miller High School.
Kenneth Kelly Stallworth, known as Kelly to friends and family, is the son of Kenneth and Rachel Stallworth.
Stallworth is an accomplished musician, athlete and scholar who enjoys basketball, cross country track, choir, Scholars Bowl, piano and singing.
He is a member of the National Honor Society and the 2004 state champion track team.
Katelin Meridith Hulley is the daughter of John and Leslie Hulley and attends W. S. Neal High School.
She enjoys cheerleading, volleyball and running, as well her church youth group and choir activities.
Hulley is a member of the National Honor Society, MuAlpha Theta and Who's Who Among American High School Students. She is also the current Miss W. S. Neal High School.
Kaitlyn Griffin attends T. R. Miller High School and is the daughter of Chris and Robin Griffin.
She enjoys cheerleading, singing, dancing, flag football and reading.
She serves on her school's student government association and has been a class officer for the past three years.
She is a member of the National Honor Society, as well as her school's Science Olympiad and Scholars Bowl teams.
She was a HOBY recipient and was awarded a Science Olympiad scholarship.
Students selected as alternates for the Washington, D. C. Youth Tour were Justin Gates, Escambia Co. High School, and Stephanie Cunningham, Monroe Co. High School.
The twelve students selected as Alabama Youth Tour representatives were: Dallas Jordan and Jose Flores of Excel High School; Chris Smith and Hillary Sawyer of Monroe Academy; Stephanie Cunningham of Monroe County High School; Jessica Nesmith of Escambia Academy; Shanice Staples and Justin Gates of Escambia County High School; Alise King and Johnathan Presley of J. U. Blacksher High School; Chase Brown of Sparta Academy; and Chris Harris of Hillcrest High School.