MEC Student Runs Virtual Cooperative

Tylik Elam, a junior at Halifax County High School and vice-president of the Halifax County High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter, recently participated in the Virginia Institute on Cooperative Education (VICE) conference held at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia.  “It was a great opportunity and it has already paid off substantially,” says Elam when speaking about the VICE conference.  The event, sponsored by the Virginia Cooperative Council, is held every spring with the main goal of educating students about the unique business model that a cooperative utilizes. This year it hosted 53 Virginia high school students.

During the conference, students are placed into teams and compete in a computerized, interactive business simulation where they make operational decisions, such as the amount of staff that is needed throughout each quarter, how much stock is needed to fill the demands of their customers and the financial requirements needed to keep the business running in an efficient manner. 

Elam points out that he and his fellow students found this to be quite the task. “One bad decision by you or another team seriously affected the entire group, just like in the real market.  I’m glad that I don’t have to make those kinds of business decisions every day.”

Elam is the son of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) member, Natasha Elam of Halifax, and was sponsored by MEC. He was accompanied by MEC Community Relations Coordinator Dustin Francis who remarks, “VICE is an amazing opportunity for today’s youth to expand their leadership capabilities and build their financial and teamwork skills.  As the weekend progressed, it was impressive how Tylik and the other students were actively involved and quickly bonded with one another as they learned and had fun at the same time.  Tylik spoke very enthusiastically about VICE and even expressed interest in attending as a student volunteer next year.”

Elam expresses his appreciation, “VICE was an amazing opportunity for me to make new friends and learn a lot that will help for many years to come, and I want to thank Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative for giving me this great chance to go.”

Sponsoring local students to the VCC youth leadership conference is one of many educational opportunites that Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative offers young people in the community. 

For more information, or if you would like to attend the VCC Conference, please call Dustin Francis at 434-372-6156. 




MEC Community Relations Coordinator Dustin Francis (left) accompanied Tylik Elam, a Halifax County High School junior, at the VICE educational conference.