Hundreds Turn Out for Palazzo Youth Leadership Summit
Hattiesburg, MS – Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS), today welcomed more than 300 area high school students to the first annual Palazzo Youth Leadership Summit at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
“My goal for this summit is to empower our future leaders, and inspire them to put their talents to work in their local communities,” Palazzo stated. “When you see this many promising young leaders in one room, you can’t help but feel that Mississippi’s future is bright.”
The summit drew more than 300 students from more than twenty area high schools for a half-day of lectures and opportunities to question guests such as Governor Phil Bryant and former New Orleans Saints Running Back Deuce McAllister.
“My message to these students is simple, use the skills they’ve been given to their full potential, and in their successes, remember to give back,” McAllister stated. Apart from his successful NFL career, McAllister founded the Catch 22 Foundation in 2002. It is dedicated to enhancing the lives of under-privileged youth and adolescents in the Gulf South Region primarily through the establishment of positive role models in their lives.
Governor Phil Bryant also shared from his experiences that led him to being sworn in as Mississippi’s 64th governor.
“I want our young people to understand how to overcome obstacles and set goals to be successful,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “Mississippi needs the leadership of this new generation, and I want these young men and women to know they can have successful futures right here at home. I thank Congressman Palazzo for organizing this great opportunity.”
High school juniors and seniors from across Mississippi’s fourth congressional district were selected by their schools to attend today’s summit. Students were chosen based on academic performance, community service, involvement in extracurricular activities, and the ability to overcome adversity.
Other guest speakers at the summit included USM Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Joe Paul; Actor, Gary Grubbs; USM Athletic Director, Major General Jeff Hammond; Miss Southern Miss, Grace Claire Cordes; and Miss William Carey University, Kenna Spiller.
Palazzo said the overwhelming student response to the summit was further justification for ensuring it continues as an annual event.
“The response exceeded what we originally expected. Next year, we hope to be able to accommodate even more students.”
Congressman Steven Palazzo Press Release