Claiborne student goes to Nashville

Published 2:57 pm Thursday, March 30, 2023

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Claiborne High student Joshua Bolton was chosen among county pupils to attend the 2023 installment of the Annual Youth Leadership Summit – part of the ‘giving back’ by the TN Electric Cooperative Association.

Chosen by his guidance counselor, Bolton had quite the visit during his three-day trip to the state capital.

Sponsored by Powell Valley Electric Cooperative, Bolton and McKynzie Roberts – a Hancock County High student who was also chosen to make the trip – made great use of the time as they made the rounds. Bolton and Roberts were welcomed by Secretary of State Tre Hargett and members of the Tennessee General Assembly. The two took part in a mock session held inside the Senate Chambers that allowed Summit attendees to debate and vote on a bill they developed.

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While in Nashville, the PVEC delegates met with State Representatives Dennis Powers and Gary Hicks and were invited by Hicks to attend a committee meeting over which he is chairman.

Bolton and Roberts also heard from Jane Marie Franks, who is Miss Tennessee’s Outstanding Teen, and Tennessee Highway Trooper Shane Moore with the TN Executive Protection Detail.

One of the days was devoted to leadership training at the Joe C. Davis YMCA Outdoor Center. The students managed to squeeze in a behind-the-scenes tour of Bridgestone Arena before the kickoff of a Nashville Predators game.

The mission of these annual Youth Leadership Summits is to encourage students to become leaders in their hometowns and to use their talents to improve rural Tennessee.

“The Youth Leadership Summit gives the brightest students in rural and suburban Tennessee the opportunity to expand their leadership skills,” said Todd Blocker, TCEA Vice-President of Member Relations and Director of the Youth Leadership Summit. “These young people will be the next generation of leaders in rural Tennessee, and I commend electric co-ops for supporting this effort to prepare young people for the future.”

Brad Coppock, PVEC General Manager, agreed with the assessment.

“These students will soon be our community leaders – and electric cooperative member-owners. We want them to share our passion for their communities, so it is an honor for Powell Valley Electric Cooperative to help prepare them for the opportunities that are ahead. The future of our rural communities depends on a new generation of strong leaders like these.”

Powell Valley Electric Cooperative, headquartered in New Tazewell with branch offices in Sneedville and Jonesville, VA, is a nonprofit member-owned energy provider serving more than 34,000 homes, farms and businesses in Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins and Union Counties in Tennessee and Lee, Scott and Wise Counties in Virginia.

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Electric cooperatives serve some three million consumers and make up about 72 percent of the power companies in Tennessee. The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association provides leadership, advocacy and support for the state’s 23 electric cooperatives. The Tennessee Magazine is published by the Association and is considered the state’s most widely circulated periodical.

To learn more about the TECA and the magazine, log onto: or