Byrom, Stevenson attend FPU-sponsored leadership event

Mary Lynn Byrom of Fayetteville High School and Tate Stevenson of Lincoln County High School were in Nashville, TN, March 13-15 for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s annual Youth Leadership Summit. The youth were sponsored by Fayetteville Public Utilities and were joined by 44 other summit attendees from across the state.

On March 14, Sen. Jim Tracy greeted delegates attending the three-day leadership and government workshop. Tracy welcomed the young leaders to the Senate Chamber of the Tennessee State Capitol where Alan Whittington, assistant chief clerk of the Senate, explained the process required to pass legislation. Sen. Tracy led a session that gave students the opportunity to debate and vote on a mock bill.

Reps. Mike Bell and John Lee Clemmons joined Sen. Tracy for a town hall meeting with the youth. The three discussed the legislative process and answered questions posed by summit attendees. Delegates then had the opportunity to listen in on debates in House and Senate meetings in Legislative Plaza.

Byrom and Stevenson visited the offices of Sen. Tracy and Rep. Pat Marsh while visiting the state capital area and learned about some of the current issues on which our legislators are working and what it’s like to serve as a state representative.

In addition to a hands-on look at state government, delegates to the event learned team-building and problem-solving skills and developed a better understanding of the roles of rural electric systems.

“I was very excited to be chosen to attend the 2017 Youth Leadership Summit,” says Byrom. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the trip was one of the best events I have attended. I met our representatives, Miss Tennessee and some of the best high school students across the state. Because of this trip and the opportunities it brings, I will be serving as a page for Rep. Marsh.”

“Having the chance to further develop my leadership skills with other talented youth from across the state was truly an amazing opportunity,” says Stevenson. “I am so thankful to FPU for providing me the privilege of attending.”

Delegates to the Youth Leadership Summit are encouraged to be leaders and use their talents to improve rural Tennessee. “Our rural electric systems, school officials and guidance counselors help chose these outstanding students to attend the summit based on their interests in government and strong leadership abilities,” says FPU’s CEO and General Manger Britt Dye. “They will be the next generation of leaders in rural Tennessee, and we want to prepare strong, upcoming leaders like Mary Lynn and Tate for the challenges and opportunities they will face.”


Stevenson and Byrom tour the state capital, visiting both the senate and house chambers.

Rep. Marsh, second from left, welcomed Stevenson and Byrom at his office, and he shared details about life as a state representative. The students were accompanied at the summit by FPU’s Gina Warren, right.

The students also visited with Sen. Tracy at his Legislative Plaza office after listening to one of the senate committee meetings.