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Youth from Three Schools Attend Tech Day at NATCO
May 2006

Youth Leadership Team Learns About Technology
Youth Leadership Team Learns About Technology
These Marion County ninth-graders are completing a year of leadership training as members of the South Shore-Marion County Youth Leadership Team. They are: (from left) in front row - Mitchell Willett, Christian Elera, Johnny Cooper; seated in the middle row (from left) - Michelle Wills, Danielle Dennis, Mikala Watkins, Heather Robinson, Tia Hadley, Helen Cogar; standing in the back row (from left) - Jesse Koerts, Tyler Baker, Ashley Taylor, Debbie Norberg, Flora Taylor, Elizabeth Campbell, Curtis Ezell, and Silvia Shirley. Students apply at the end of eighth grade to be on the multi-school team in ninth grade.

Eighteen ninth-grade students from Marion County schools took part in “Tech Day” at NATCO recently, where they learned about technology used in today’s telecommunications and careers in the telecom industry. The 18 are members of the 2005-06 South Shore Marion County Youth Leadership Team.

Tech Day is one of the monthly activities for these students in leadership training. NATCO Vice President Steven Sanders Jr. met with the students, showing them technology which has changed the telecom business in recent years and examples of technology widely used in leisure time. The teens met with the Internet department staff for comparisons of broadband DSL and dialup Internet access.

Other monthly sessions in the year of leadership training deal with civic responsibilities, tourism - hosted by Gaston’s White River Resort and Bull Shoals Dam, real world skills and career awareness - led by Mike Ragland of Entergy and hosted by Ranger Boats, personality assessment, teamwork and communication - led by youth specialists from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, and a trip to Little Rock including a State Capitol tour.

The year ends with group presentations and a graduation reception, held this year at Yellville-Summit school.

Randy Livingston and Renee Myers lead the adult advisory board that works with the youth team. Because youth of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, this program is designed to identify and strengthen leadership skills in youth. It builds self-confidence as they learn to serve their schools and communities, said Mrs. Myers. They also complete community service projects.

Students attending the NATCO Tech Day were: Elizabeth Campbell, Tia Hadley, Christian Elera, Johnny Cooper, Flora Taylor, Ashley Taylor, and Curtis Ezell, all from Bruno-Pyatt High School; Heather Robinson, Helen Cogar, Silvia Shirley, and Clay Hudson, all from Flippin High School; Tyler Baker, Mitchell Willett, Jesse Koerts, Michelle Wills, Danielle Dennis, Debbie Norberg, and Mikala Watkins, all of Yellville-Summit High School.

To be on next year’s South Shore-Marion County Youth Leadership Team, any eighth-grade student may apply to their school’s counselor, the Marion County Extension Office (870) 449-6349, or online at the South Shore Foundation Web site, www.southshore.com/mcyapp.htm by June 15. Team members will be selected by the Marion County Youth Leadership Advisory Committee, and activities begin in August.

South Shore Foundation, the charitable foundation of NATCO, is the major funding sponsor. Additional sponsors are Entergy, Marion County Cooperative Extension Service, Bruno-Pyatt, Flippin, and Yellville-Summit schools, and local business contributors including Arvest Bank, Bank of the Ozarks, Brooks-Jeffrey Marketing, First Federal Bank, Flippin Wal-Mart Supercenter, Gaston’s White River Resort, Harps, and Ranger Boats.

NATCO, an independent, family-owned company, provides telephone service to a 658 square-mile area in Marion and Boone counties. Its offices are at 301 E. Main St., Flippin. Call toll-free 800-775-6682. The NATCO Technologies division provides Internet services to residents throughout the Twin Lakes area.


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