Southwest Electric Awards Scholarship to DeMarria Brown

Published 12:50 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2021

NATCHEZ — A Natchez High School senior DeMarria Brown was awarded a $2,500 scholarship last week from Southwest Electric.

Brown, the daughter of Twanza Conner and Demarco Brown, participated in the 2020 Youth Leadership Program sponsored by the Southwest cooperative.

Brown was chosen for the program after attending a one-day Cooperative University in Port Gibson, where students learned about electricity and the history and purpose of rural electric cooperatives, heard from state legislators, talked to a lineman and a meter technician about their work and the tools they use.

Brown said she was one of three Natchez High School students chosen to attend the Port Gibson University and was invited back the next day for an interview with out-of-town judges. She was one of fewer students selected for a scholarship this year.

“At first, I was scared because I was shy. Then we started out with an icebreaker game, watched a PowerPoint presentation and did different group projects,” Brown said of the program.

Brown also had the opportunity to attend a three-day workshop in Jackson in February and meet other youth leaders across the state, eat breakfast with state legislators, listen to the governor and lieutenant governor, do team-building exercises and discussing and solving issues in a town hall setting.

Brown said the experience taught her about being a leader and helped her connect with more of her peers.

“It was a fun experience because I got to meet so many people,” she said.

Southwest officials said students would have had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. this year. However, the trip was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

“We are proud to have DeMarria Brown represent our cooperative,” said CEO Kevin Bonds. “The Youth Leadership Program is an important part of our commitment to the communities we serve. The trip to Washington, D.C., is a great experience for these young leaders. Missing it because of COVID-19 was unfortunate, but we hope the scholarship makes up for that.”

Brown said she feels excited to have been chosen for a scholarship, although activities in Washington, D.C., were canceled.

“It feels great (to win the scholarship). I didn’t know that I was capable of doing something like this,” she said.

Brown said when she graduates, she plans to study at Mississippi State University become a veterinarian.

Brown said she originally wanted to go to nursing school but was inspired by her orange tabby cat named Jeff, which she adopted in May.

“I’ve always loved animals,” Brown said, adding she was never able to have a pet before Jeff. “When he was a little kitten, I took him to the vet and realized that is what I wanted to do.”

Brown said she also loves history and reading fiction novels and is the captain of the Natchez High School cheerleading team.

“I’d like to thank Jeremy Smith and Debra McGee with Southwest for this opportunity,” Brown said.

Southwest Electric is a member-owned electric cooperative based in Lorman, MS, that provides power to over 25,000 meters in Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Copiah, Franklin, Hinds, Jefferson, Lincoln and Wilkinson counties.