FOUR YEARS AGO, CARROLL WHITE REMC CREATED A JUNIOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO HELP LOCAL STUDENTS ENHANCE THEIR PROFESSIONAL SKILLS AND TO BETTER UNDERSTAND AND REACH OUT TO YOUTH IN OUR SERVICE TERRITORY
For Grace Ayres of Flora, the Carroll White REMC junior board is an opportunity to explore new ideas
and limitless possibilities — and share them with other junior board members.
“I love working with everyone on the board and learning about all of the businesses around me,” Ayres said. “It’s really surprised me how many opportunities there are in a single company!”
Ayres, 16, describes herself as hardworking and trustworthy. “When I make something a priority,
it always gets done,” she said. During the Christmas season, she assists children in need by getting
them gifts or winter clothing. She also enjoys helping out at the food pantry.
The Carroll Junior Senior High School student is involved in volleyball, volleyball club, 4-H, FFA,
Youth Group, Prom Committee and Student Council. Upon graduation, Ayres plans to attend
Purdue University to major in animal science and then advance to veterinarian school.
Her favorite book is The Great Gatsby, her favorite movie is How the Grinch Stole Christmas and her
music genre of choice is country.
Ayres is the daughter of Joshua and Melissa Ayres. She has one brother, Jacob, who attends Rose-Hulman
Institute of Technology.
Cooper Cross was already familiar with Carroll White REMC when he joined its junior board of directors last year.
“When I was in 4-H, I did projects on electricity and I spent time in the REMC building in Delphi,” Cross said. “I also attended
Touchstone Energy Camp (sponsored by the REMC) when I was going into my seventh grade year.”
Although he had some basic knowledge about his electric cooperative, he’s learned so much more through his involvement on the junior board. “I have learned that CW REMC is a non-profit organization that does its best to help members get the best electricity rate they can,” Cross said. “REMC truly values members. They don’t try to squeeze another dollar out of people like some big businesses do.”
Members of the junior board visit local businesses and learn about job opportunities right here in their community. Cross notes that he’s learned about businesses and occupations he never knew existed. “I now have been able to narrow down what I want my career to be when I become an adult,” the Delphi Community High School junior said. Cross currently plans to major in digital marketing and advertising or design technology in college. He is also interested in worship arts and graphic design.
Adept at event planning, the active 17 year old enjoys helping others. “I volunteer a lot through the Delphi United Methodist Church, where I help with community events,” Cross said. He is part of the Youth Group, Youth Band, Student Leadership Team and Praise Team at his church. “We do a mission trip every year for Youth Group and I really enjoy helping others through that.”
At school, Cross — who keeps organized while maintaining a full schedule of activities — is vice president of Delphi’s Interact Club, a service club connected with Rotary International. His other activities include Spanish Club, Varsity D, National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and Parnassus, the Delphi Community High School newspaper. Cross also participates on Delphi’s cross country, track and swim teams.
In his free time, Cross, enjoys building and refinishing furniture, playing guitar, water skiing, watching health documentaries and reading — especially the Kirk Pitt book series by Clive Cussler. He enjoys listening to 1940s jazz music and the band Maverick City Music.
Born in Mesa, Arizona, Cross has spent most of his childhood in Flora with his parents, Kyle and Sarah Cross, and his brother, Jackson,14. His life philosophy: “Question
everything … except your parents!”