High school students from across the state attend the ninth annual Palazzo Youth Leadership Summit

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Middle and high school students from across southern Mississippi gathered at the MGCCC Harrison County campus to attend the ninth annual Palazzo Youth Leadership Summit.

More than 258 students from 30 different high schools across the state gathered inside the IMPAC Center to hear personal testimonies and leadership advice from several high-profile guests. MGCCC President Dr. Mary Graham said, “The goal is to develop and grow our future leaders to really give them leadership inspiration and guidance.

Mississippi Veterans Affairs Executive Director Stacey Pickering was a guest speaker at the event and spoke about the importance of chasing your dreams and never giving up. “If you don’t try, it’s an automatic failure in life. So be willing to try, even if it’s blood, sweat and tears, a little dust under your fingernails, be willing to try and you will succeed.

The students navigated from table to table to get information about different universities and jobs in the area. “We just wanted to give them the tools and resources they need to make good decisions and make early decisions. Many people don’t realize that the sooner you apply for scholarships, the better the opportunities.

Anna Price-Mattox, a junior at Columbia Academy, is already on the path to success, participating in many activities within her school, including serving as class president. “It’s really great to be around people who have the same goals as me and the same kind of motivation and desires in life as me.”

Mattox says a leader for her is someone who is always willing to step up and do the right thing. “They’re ready to step up and be able to say ‘hey, that’s what I think and that’s what needs to be done to fix this’ and they’re confident.”

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