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SEC donates laptops to students

A dozen high school students from across Southside Electric Cooperative’s service area recently received new laptop computers through SEC’s YouthTECH program.

The cooperative hosted a program for the students and their families Saturday, Aug. 7, at Hooper Park in Crewe. Former 5th District Congressman Robert Hurt was the guest speaker. Jeff Edwards, SEC’s president and CEO, and Ron White, vice president of member and public relations, also spoke. Before receiving either a Dell personal computer or Apple MacBook, the students participated in an interactive social media project about how the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted them.

Mariah Paras

Hurt, who also served in the state Senate and House of Delegates, talked about how fast technology and the economy change. He illustrated that by pointing out how water-powered mills were once needed to grind grain for bread to today when a private citizen can write a check and ride into outer space.

The Chatham resident who is dean of the Helms School of Government at Liberty University urged the students to excel in their academics and to understand and treasure the freedoms and rights that Americans have.

Hurt closed with some biblical advice, telling the students to, “Love your neighbor. Treat your neighbor as you want to be treated.”

He encouraged the students to think before saying or doing something.

Receiving laptops were Bethany Duncan, Liberty High School in Bedford; Jasmine Harris, Prince Edward County High School; Peyton Coleman, Amelia County High School; Olivia Oen, Jefferson Forest High School in Bedford; Jacob Stallard, Kenston Forest in Nottoway; Julianna Crawford, Rustburg High School in Campbell; Mason Kinne, Prince Edward County High School; William Cousins, Dinwiddie High School; Braden Cliborne, Nottoway High School; Mariah Paras, Cumberland High School; Savannah Maloughney, Dinwiddie High School and Hans Rehme, Powhatan High School.

SEC created YouthTECH after this summer’s Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., was canceled due to continuing concerns about COVID-19. YouthTECH was open to any grade 11 student living and attending school in one of SEC’s 18 counties.