NECA student selected for leadership program

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, January 11, 2017

NATCHEZ — One Natchez junior was surprised to learn she did well enough during a leadership interview to be selected as one of three students in the region for an exclusive program.

Morgan Baskin, 16, was selected by the Southwest Mississippi Electric Cooperative to serve in the power organization’s Youth Leadership Program, which will earn the Natchez Early College Academy junior a trip to Washington, D.C., this summer.

“I was a little surprised,” Baskin said. “I was not sure how well I did on the interview.”

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At the Alcorn State University campus, Baskin was one approximately 20 students from Southwest’s coverage region to be selected for a leadership retreat. Students learned about how the company works, but were also interviewed to be part of the leadership program.

Entry in the leadership program earns a student the opportunity to attend a workshop at the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson next month and during the summer, a trip to Washington, D.C.

Baskin said she answered questions about what traits a leader should have, what questions she would ask President-Elect Donald Trump and what problems she thought the U.S. faced.

“I really just answered as if I was talking about anything,” Baskin said. “I was not sure the way I answered would be what they wanted to advance someone, but apparently they liked what I said.”

Baskin said she went on the NECA trip to Washington, D.C., this summer, and she is looking forward to the trip again.

“I really like D.C. and I can’t wait to get to see it again,” she said. “I love the scenery and how everything feels historic.”

Baskin was selected by her school counselor for the trip to Lorman to interview after a year of serving in the Youth Leadership Natchez program.

Baskin said she has enjoyed the program.

“I am able to see more things Natchez has to offer and tour lots of businesses,” she said. “There are a lot more jobs in Natchez than I realized.”

As part of the youth leadership program, Baskin said she’s been able to tour the hospital, the radio station and will tour the police station. She has also been able to interact with students around the region.

“You get to meet people from the different schools in the area and form connections,” Baskin said.

While not initially sure she would like being a leader, Baskin said she has begun to think the skills might offer opportunities in the future.

“I am a section leader in the band,” Baskin said. “You can’t just bark out orders, you have to do your thing, too.

“To me, being a leader is about making myself better as well as those around me.”

The daughter of LaWanda and Arrocus Baskin, Baskin decided to enroll in NECA this past year as a sophomore.

“By the time I graduate, I should have an associate degree,” Baskin said. “I like the challenge and the opportunity to take college classes on the high school level.

“And since it is not with the regular high school, the classes are a lot smaller and everyone is closer, both with the teachers and thee students.”

Baskin, who plans to attend Southern University, said she would like to work in government, specifically the United Nations.

“I want to be able to interact with different cultures and people around the world and help make the world a better place by stopping some conflicts,” she said. “Just make sure everyone gets along.”