SAN DIEGO — Sylandi Brown, spokesperson for the national Youth Leadership Council (YLC) and a freshman at Valdosta State University today addressed more than 5,000 electric cooperative leaders from across the country at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).
In 2016, Middle Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), based in Vienna, Ga., sponsored Brown’s trip to the nation’s capital as part of the NRECA’s annual Youth Tour. More than 100 Georgia Youth Tour participants selected Brown to serve as the state’s delegate to the YLC. In turn, the 42-member YLC chose Brown as its national spokesperson.
Standing before the co-op leaders, Brown reflected on her experiences in Washington: “Through the NRECA Washington Youth Tour, we have been motivated to discover and ignite our light in a world full of darkness. We have been motivated to use our energy for good and to use this power to positively impact others.”
NRECA CEO Jim Matheson congratulated Brown: “Sylandi exemplifies the spirit of positive political engagement that is so important to the democratic process, and Youth Tour helps feed that energy. In this anniversary year, as we think back on the good work done by NRECA in the last 75 years, the creation of the Youth Tour stands out as a bright spot.”
Brown, who is on the Dean’s list at her university, hopes to pursue a career in education or communications after college.
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.
More than 5,500 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation are attending NRECA’s Annual Meeting celebrating its 75th Anniversary. The meeting runs from Feb. 23 through Mar. 1 in San Diego and sets NRECA’s legislative and organizational agenda for 2017. Co-op representatives also hear from NRECA officials, key public figures and business experts about issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer members. The Annual Meeting is held in conjunction with TechAdvantage, a technology learning event and expo that features more than 280 exhibitors showcasing their state-of-the-art technologies, equipment and services.