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2016 Washington Youth Tour Delegate Speaks Before National Audience

Wednesday, March 1, 2017  
Posted by: Terri Statham
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TUCKER, Ga., March 1, 2017–“We were all so different with a wide array of life and career goals, hobbies, and activities, yet we were all similar, ambitious, innovative leaders who together embody a brilliantly radiant light,” noted 2016 Washington Youth Tour delegate and Hawkinsville High School stand-out graduate Sylandi Brown.

She delivered the remarks before more than 5,500 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation during the annual meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The meeting, held Feb. 23 through Mar. 1 in San Diego, sets NRECA’s legislative and organizational agenda for 2017.

Brown shared the stage with a number of noted national speakers including the NRECA leadership team made up of CEO Jim Matheson, Executive Vice President of Member and Association Relations Martin Lowery, and President Mel Coleman. Other notable presenters included business experts Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd; and Michael Howard, president and CEO, Electric Power Research Institute; plus two New York Times bestselling authors.

During her remarks, Brown recounted her experiences during the 2016 Washington Youth Tour, an annual leadership event sponsored by the electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) in Georgia, including Middle Georgia EMC.

“Sylandi embodies what the Washington Youth Tour is all about–finding and promoting future leaders, and this young lady without a doubt is a future leader,” noted Middle Georgia EMC President/CEO Randy Crenshaw. 

“She is an extraordinary young woman and it is amazing to me all that she has accomplished so early in life.  Middle Georgia EMC is honored to have Sylandi represent us, Georgia and the Washington Youth Tour.”

The NRECA Annual Meeting marked the second of four scheduled appearances for Brown after being elected NRECA National Youth spokesperson. In November, she spoke before a statewide audience during Georgia EMC’s annual meeting in Savannah. This June, she will return to Atlanta to speak during the kick-off banquet for Georgia participants of the 2017 Washington Youth Tour. Her final speaking engagement will take place in Washington, D.C. before approximately 1,500 student delegates from across the country.

“Sylandi exemplifies the spirit of positive political engagement that is so important to the democratic process, and the Washington Youth Tour helps feed that spirit,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson.

Brown expressed gratitude to her sponsoring co-op, Middle Georgia EMC, as well as co-ops in other parts of the state and country that provide financial support to make the Youth Tour possible.

She is the daughter of Greg and Silvia Brown of Hawkinsville and is currently a freshman at Valdosta State University where she is studying speech communications.

Brown is actively involved in the Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Honors Student Association, Residence Hall Association Area Council as Reade Hall vice-president and on the Dean’s List for the fall 2016 Academic Semester. She graduated as salutatorian of her senior class at Hawkinsville High School while being awarded the highest overall average for her 12th grade class and highest overall average for all students in the 9th-12th grades.

Driven by her passion to help others reach their full potential, Brown founded a youth mentorship program known as R.E.A.C.H. (Reaching Excellence Among Children’s Hearts), which focuses on helping middle school students transition successfully into and throughout their middle school years while preparing them for high school, college and the workforce.

In addition, Brown was recently crowned 2016 America’s Homecoming Queenand in that role helps raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She competed for the national title in Memphis in July after winning the Georgia Homecoming Queen pageant. In that role she appeared as Miss Liberty Bowl during the football classic in Memphis on Dec. 30. Middle Georgia EMC is a consumer owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to more than 4,700 consumers in Dooly, Houston, Macon, Pulaski, Turner and Wilcox counties.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 41 electric cooperatives, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Through this statewide network, the EMCs provide electricity and related services to 4.4 million people across 73 percent of the state’s land area.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.

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