A young electric cooperative leader who made a huge impression as Youth Leadership Council spokesperson at the 2017 NRECA Annual Meeting is making another big splash, this time on an international stage.

Sylandi Brown, 22, now a marketing and communications specialist with Middle Georgia Electric Membership Corp., has been chosen as one of the International Cooperative Alliance’s “25 Under 25,” a cadre of young leaders helping promote the group’s upcoming 33rd World Cooperative Congress.

“Through the NRECA Youth Tour, I had a great opportunity to learn about the cooperative business model and how our values and principles improve the quality of life of the people we serve,” said Brown, who joined the Vienna-based distribution co-op after graduating from Valdosta State University last spring.

Since becoming a co-op staff member, Brown has been active in Middle Georgia EMC’s voter registration efforts.

“The ‘25 Voices’ project gives me another opportunity to dive more deeply into what the cooperative identity means and how my co-op not only provides energy to our members, but drives community and economic development,” Brown said.

“From open and voluntary membership to defined community goals, co-ops offer many approaches to help those who belong to communities claim the initiative to meet many different types of challenges.”

The ICA’s 33rd World Cooperative Congress will be held in Seoul, South Korea, in December. Throughout the year, the organization plans to recognize young people from around the world who are affiliated with co-ops that serve their communities.

“Sylandi and other members of 25 Voices are making an impact today in their communities, and this will give them the opportunity to learn from each other and make an impression on the world stage,” said Zuraidah Hoffman, communications manager for the event.

“This group of young leaders have valid and relevant roles to play in overcoming challenges the world faces today. Promoting the impact people like Sylandi and her co-op have in her community will give the cooperative movement a boost and the recognition that cooperative values benefit billions of people around the world.”

The conference theme of “Deepening Your Cooperative Identity” is designed to focus attention on solutions to 21st century problems and the challenges facing both developed and developing nations. Members of the group will participate in co-op events promoting the World Cooperative Congress throughout the year.

“The skills these young leaders bring to this project are deeply engrained in their character,” said Hoffman. “This year leading up to congress, ICA will actively promote the values that many of us have come to appreciate as central to the success of cooperatives.”

View more information on the International Cooperative Alliance’s 33rd World Cooperative Congress.