Sparta students learn about government during co-op event


White County High School students Josiah Rushing and Kiley Moore were in Nashville March 21-23 for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s annual Youth Leadership Summit. The juniors were chosen and sponsored by Caney Fork Electric Cooperative.

Delegates to the event receive a hands-on look at state government, learn networking and leadership skills and develop a better understanding of their local electric cooperatives.

Tre Hargett, Tennessee Secretary of State, welcomed the students to the Capitol where they visited with legislators, sat in on committee meetings and debated and voted on a mock bill.

In addition to meeting lawmakers and experiencing the state Capital, students also developed their leadership and teambuilding skills at the Joe C. Davis YMCA Outdoor Center at Camp Widjiwagen, completed a leadership training course with leadership expert Amy Gallimore and met Trooper Shane Moore and K9 officer Sumo from the Tennessee Executive Protection Detail. Students also spent a morning at Middle Tennessee Electric in Murfreesboro for a behind-the-scenes look at an electric cooperative.

“I have been blessed to have had this opportunity to build relationships, improve my leadership skills and learn about how electric co-ops impact communities across Tennessee,” says Moore.  Added Rushing: “I appreciate the chance to improve my leadership skills, and I’m grateful to Caney Fork Electric for this unique opportunity.”

Delegates to the Youth Leadership Summit are encouraged to be leaders and use their talents to improve rural Tennessee. “The future is built on the investments we make today, and there is no greater investment that we can make than to prepare these young people to face the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow,” says Todd Blocker, vice president of member relations for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and director of the Youth Leadership Summit. “These students are selected by their local electric co-ops, school officials and guidance counselors, and they truly are the best and the brightest. The Youth Leadership Summit is an example of the many ways that electric co-ops are building a brighter Tennessee.”

“One day these young people will be the leaders of our community ¬– in many ways they already are,” says CFEC Communications Coordinator Angel Wood.  “We hope they will continue to be a part of our area long after they finish their education, and that’s why we want them to be prepared. Leadership is a skill that can be learned, and the future of our community depends on strong, well-prepared leaders. Programs like the Youth Leadership Summit are investments that will pay dividends long into the future, and it is an honor for Caney Fork Electric to help prepare them for the opportunities that are ahead.”

Caney Fork Electric is a distribution cooperative proudly serving Warren, White, DeKalb and Van Buren Counties as well as a small portion of Cannon, Coffee, Grundy and Putnam counties.  Visit to learn more.

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association provides legislative and communication support for Tennessee’s 23 electric cooperatives and publishes The Tennessee Magazine, the state’s most widely circulated periodical. Visit or to learn more.           


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here