The 2014 HYLA High School Class is comprised of twenty-four high school juniors from Hancock County who represent all four area schools as well as the home-schooled community. On Sunday, February 9, 2014, the group traveled to the Duncan M. Gray Conference Center in Canton, Mississippi, where they participated in the Camp Bratton-Green Challenge Course, an outdoor adventure experience focused on team-building and effective leadership through self-awareness and respect for the contributions of others. The adventure ended with a bonfire and lodging at the conference center, before the next full day of the trip began.
From Canton, the leadership group traveled to Jackson on February 10 for a full morning at the State Capitol, organized by State Representative David Baria (District 122). Governor Phil Bryant and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann greeted the students before they toured the Capitol Building, visited the Supreme Court, and met with the Honorable David Ishee to learn about the inner workings of the state’s judicial system. Representative Baria ensured that the HYLA Class of 2014 were recognized from the floor of the House of Representatives, where they also met Patricia Willis (District 95) and Timmy Ladner (District 93) as well as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Philip Gunn (District 56).
The students considered it a rare treat to meet their elected officials. Lexi York of Bay High School said, “I loved getting to meet the governor and our representatives, especially because [politics] is what I’m interested in doing in the future.” Megan Cobb, who is home-schooled, echoed those sentiments by saying that she also enjoyed seeing politics in action: “I loved hearing the bill debated! And I also liked meeting the judge and hearing his perspective.”
From there, Millsaps College was next on the agenda, where the administration welcomed students for a campus tour and provided lunch for the group. The young leaders from Hancock County then visited Belhaven College, who hosted them for dinner, before rounding out a very full two days of team building, civic education, and engagement with state leadership institutions.
Picture: Hancock Youth Leadership students are pictured with Representatives David Baria, Patricia Willis, and Timmy Ladner. Top row: Chase Rhodes (SSC), Jenny Cuevas (Hancock), Sarah Rimmer (OLA), Noah Nicaud (SSC), Tyce Lawler (Bay High), Evan Lundgren (SSC)
th Row: Emily McGinity (OLA), Morgan Cobb (Homeschool), Essie Harris (Bay High), Nick Bevis (Hancock), Megan Magee (Bay High), Mattie Huey (OLA)
3rd Row: Chet Dastugue (Hancock), Megan Krynen (OLA), Trent Necaise (Hancock), Jim Liu (Bay High), Heath Sahuque (Bay High), Presley Favre (Bay High)
2nd Row: Leona Cunningham (Hancock), Lexi York (Bay High), Representative David Baria, Representative Patricia Willis, Representative Timmy Ladner, Claire Ammentorp (Bay High)
Front Row: Maggie Stolz (Hancock), Brittney Ladner (Hancock).