Youth Leadership Program - How to Apply

PRVEPA selects its two YLP participants through an essay and interview process. Ten students will be selected from submitted essays. Interviews of the top finishers will be conducted to select the top two candidates. 

The two winners will attend the Leadership Seminar and the Rural Electric Washington Youth Tour. Students must attend the Leadership Seminar in order to attend the Washington trip. Expenses for both trips are funded entirely by PRVEPA. 

In addition to participating in the Youth Leadership Program trips and activities, the top two students will each receive $100. The remaining eight selected essays will receive $25 per student.

Student Selection Guidelines

  •  Participation is open to Junior Class (11th Grade) or equivalent students in high schools located within PRVEPA’s service area. Home school students are also eligible. 
  • Students must be 16 years of age on or before December 31, 2019.
  • Students must have a “C” grade point average in general subjects of study or advanced studies including English, science, geography and mathematics. 
  • Parents or legal guardians with whom participants reside must be members of PRVEPA. 
  • Children of PRVEPA employees and members of the Board of Directors are not eligible.

Essay Topic – Cooperative Power

A cooperative is a not-for-profit business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit. There are over 1,000 electric cooperatives across America today. Are rural electric cooperatives still an effective way of conducting business in the United States? Why are cooperatives important to your community? Include a brief history of how PRVEPA and other electric cooperatives were organized.

Submitting Your Essay

The essay should be typed and must contain a minimum of 400 words, but should not exceed 800 words. A listing of resources used to write the essay must also be included (not included in the word count).

Essays should be mailed to: 

Kurt Brautigam, Manager of Member Services 

Pearl River Valley EPA

P. O. Box 1217 

Columbia, MS 39429-1217

The essays must be in our office by October 31, 2019.

The name of the student should not appear on the essay itself but will need to be supplied on a separate sheet attached to the submission.

Information provided on the sheet should include:

  • Name of school 
  • School telephone number 
  • Student's name
  • Home and email address
  • Telephone number
  • Parents' names 
  • PRVEPA account number 

(For home school students, please provide all applicable information.)

Reference Materials

Reference materials about rural electric cooperatives have been supplied by PRVEPA and can be found in school libraries. For additional materials, visit our website at or contact the Member Services Department at 601-736-2666. Also, check out NRECA’s website at


  •  Judges will be named by PRVEPA. 
  • The judging committee, consisting of three individuals, will review the essays and select the top five entries. Judging for the essays will be based on 50% content, 25% originality, and 25% grammatical. 
  • Each of the top ten finalists will be contacted and required to participate in an informal interview with the judges. Interviews will be conducted November 13, 2019. The judges will then select two winners and one alternate.
  • PRVEPA has the right to publish essays at its discretion and may use the winner's name and photograph in any promotion for this program.
  • PRVEPA reserves the right not to present any award, if in the judges' opinion essays of sufficient quality are not received.
  • These guidelines are subject to change at any time deemed necessary by PRVEPA.

Download the Youth Leadership Program Full Brochure

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us