Light the way

Remarks made by Kally Mayo, Illinois Youth Leadership Council (YLC) representative and Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association Youth Tour representative, at the YLC Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. 

Kally mayoCoretta Scott King once said, “Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.”

I want to thank Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for this amazing opportunity that has been given to me.

It is all because of you that when it is my turn to light the world, I will be prepared. It is because of you that future leaders will do great things.

My generation is so unique, so diverse. It puts us one step ahead of the game by helping us understand those around us. The NRECA is exposing the next generation of leaders to principles like volunteerism, democratic control, economic participation, independence, education, cooperation and concern for community.

Without any of these, where would the world be? Where would our future leaders be?

Take a moment and imagine a firefly. At first, you see only one but slowly more and more show up. They look like little sparks. Youth are the fireflies. We are the spark for America.

We are learning to lead with passion, kindness and understanding. Good leadership sparks inspiration. We can light the way like co-ops light up rural areas. Youth are the future. We need to start preparing now.

Electric cooperatives are playing a huge part in the development of America by engaging youth in leadership roles now. Younger generations will be the new face of America when the time comes. The world is changing. We need to harness these changes and use them to inspire teenagers of today to get involved in their communities and change them for the better. Who better to do that than their own peers?

Thank you to my local electric cooperative and the NRECA for building me as a leader to go home and be that spark the world needs. I can’t wait to light the way, like you do.