Breonna Hammon, spokesperson for the national Youth Leadership Council (YLC), and a student at Mohave Community College in Colorado City, Arizona, addressed more than 8,500 electric cooperative leaders from across the country at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in Orlando, Florida.

In 2014, Hammon, a member of Garkane Energy Cooperative, Inc., was chosen by Utah’s Youth Tour participants to serve as a delegate to the Youth Leadership Council. At the YLC Leadership Conference, her fellow delegates selected her to serve as national spokesperson for the 42-member council.

Standing before the co-op leaders, Hammon offered the following reflection on her Youth Tour experience in Washington, D.C.:

… Some of my favorite moments happened sitting on the bus, traveling from point A to point B, conversing with young adults so much like me, and yet so different, challenging each other’s statistics, exchanging our favorite presidents. And it was in moments such as these that suddenly it did not matter what the girl to the right of me was wearing, it did not matter that the boy to the left of me had just told me he has never had a bed of his own, all of which were things that could have very easily classified us, labeled us, made us different from the whole. But these things were not a factor in being accepted into the greater Youth Tour family. So it was here that I had found my people.

Each state attending the Youth Tour selects a representative for the NRECA Youth Leadership Council. The YLC delegates attend a weeklong summer Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. A national spokesperson is selected during the conference to address both the NRECA Annual Meeting and the Youth Tour delegates the following summer.

More than 8,500 representatives from cooperative electric utilities across the nation attended the NRECA Annual Meeting on February 23-25, during which they set NRECA’s legislative and organizational agenda for 2015. In addition to considering and acting upon policy resolutions, delegates received reports from NRECA officials, heard addresses by key public figures and business experts, and attended educational forums on major issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer owners.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, who provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.