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High school students attend leadership summit at MGCCC

High school students across the state gathered at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Wednesday for the 2022 Palazzo Youth Leadership Summit.
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 4:43 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - High school students across the state gathered at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Wednesday for the 2022 Palazzo Youth Leadership Summit.

Nearly 300 students attended the event that Congressman Steven Palazzo hosted for the ninth year.

“We have to make sure our young people, our future leaders, have the tools to succeed,” he told WLOX.

Palazzo said it’s the only convention of its kind in the state.

Guest speakers who took the stage were MGCCC President Mary Graham, Executive Director of Mississippi Veteran Affairs Stacey Pickering and Miss Mississippi Holly Brand.

“Your own Congressman Palazzo started right here on this campus,” Graham said during her speech.

Eleventh and twelfth graders from more than 30 schools showed up to learn, and spotted in the crowd was Mississippi’s 2022 Distinguished Young Woman Christina Danford.

Danford is a senior at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Hattiesburg.

After graduating, she plans to attend the Naval Academy in Maryland.

“It is one of the premier leadership institutions in our country, and I think it’s incredibly important going into the Naval Academy to have those leadership qualities going in,” she said. “So I thought it was an incredible opportunity to come here and hear from these people who are already great leaders.”

During the Summit, students also had the opportunity to attend an exclusive college fair and speak with representatives from schools throughout Mississippi.

“We want them to come in, hear stories from these prominent Mississippians that, you know, through hard work, persistence, determination, you can reach any level of success,” Palazzo said. “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

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