Two of the students selected for the 2012 Washington Youth Tour have also been recognized for their academic success and leadership potential.
This Bluffton teen is going national thanks to the Washington Youth Tour. Oliver has been selected as the national spokesperson for the Youth Leadership Council, a program sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Oliver, the battalion commander for Bluffton High School's Junior ROTC program, attended the annual Youth Leadership Council Conference July 21-25 in Washington, D.C. The conference builds leadership and public speaking skills and enhances the participants’ knowledge of the energy industry and the cooperative form of business.
“I’m pumped,” Oliver said. “I’ve taken my leadership skills in my school and community to a new level. I want to thank Palmetto Electric Cooperative for allowing me to go on this trip of a lifetime.
Oliver’s electric co-op experience began in June when he attended the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., with 47 other South Carolina high school students and more than 1,500 students from across the country. Oliver was one of three students selected to go on the trip by Palmetto Electric Cooperative. The South Carolina students selected Oliver to serve as their representative on the YLC.
During the YLC conference, participants from more than 40 states delivered a 5-7 minute speech about what inspired them during their Youth Tour trip. Oliver was chosen as national spokesperson based upon his speech—E Pluribus Unum, which means “out of many, one.”
Oliver, will deliver his speech again during the NRECA annual membership meeting February 13-20 in New Orleans.
“It’s hard to believe I’ll be doing all these things because of my co-op [Palmetto Electric Cooperative],” Oliver said. “To think they invest so much in young people like me kind of blows my mind. But I sure am grateful.”
Fuller believes it’s her calling in life to “help people.” The honors student at Ridgeland High School will receive some help of her own after she was named this year’s recipient of the R.D. Bennett Scholarship. Each year, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina offers the $2,500 scholarship—named in honor of the first chief executive of the statewide association—to one of the Youth Tour participants. Fuller, who currently ranks number one in her graduating class of 110 students, plans to attend the University of South Carolina and begin studying to become a doctor. “What I’d really like to do is become an OB-GYN so I can help women make healthy choices in their life,” said Fuller, whose Youth Tour trip was sponsored by Palmetto Electric Cooperative.
Fuller was chosen on the basis of a written essay, her school achievements and the way she interacted with her peers on the Youth Tour trip. “There is something special about Kira,” said Youth Tour Director Van O’Cain. “When you’re around her, you know this is someone who knows what she wants and will work hard to get it.” Fuller has a busy routine outside of school and her impressive number of extracurricular activities. In addition to being active in her church, she also volunteers at the Jasper County Boys and Girls Club.