The City of Pascagoula sat down with the Mayor of the Pascagoula Mayor's Youth Council, Hunter Blades. We discussed his involvement in the community and his love for Mississippi's Flagship City.

CITY: Tell us a little about yourself

BLADES:I am a 17-year-old senior at Pascagoula High School. I am almost an Eagle Scout with Troop 230. I am finishing up the final paperwork. This year, I am the Mayor of the Pascagoula Mayor’s Youth Council.

CITY: So you are almost an Eagle Scout. What is an example of a project you have to do to become an official Eagle Scout?

BLADES: A major part of getting Eagle Scout is that you have to complete a service project of great significance that benefits your community. During 2015-2016 band camp. Mr. John Taylor, the band director, expressed his desire for a band tower. A band tower is basically an observation deck to help see and correct the marching in the half-time show. So over the past 2 years, I have been creating plans, collecting donations, and managing the project to its completion.

CITY: Wow, Hunter. That’s a quite an extensive project. What was your motivation?

BLADES: My passion for band. I have had such a passion to complete such an extensive project due to my passion for the band. I saw the need and fulfilled it because I knew that it would last for years to come and it would greatly help the band be the best it could possibly be.  When I become involved in a program or activity and I believe in it, I put 100% into it to make it the best it can be. I don’t want to be involved in something if I won’t commit myself to being active and productive in it.

CITY: You are the Mayor of the Pascagoula Mayor’s Youth Council. What does that mean to you?

BLADES: I became a member of the Pascagoula Mayor’s Youth Council during my 10th grade year. I joined because I thought it sounded interesting and I wanted to get more involved in my local government. This year I became mayor of the council, I think, due to my hard work and dedication within the council as a member. I feel like the Youth Council is a wonderful opportunity for the youth to gain an understanding of how our local government works and how all of the departments keep the city running.  I hope the city uses the Youth Council to explore ideas for the City to help it grow and sustain as a wonderful community.

Young White boy standing in front of a sunset mural

CITY: What are your plans after High School?

BLADES: After High school, I plan to attend Mississippi State University for Electrical Engineering with a minor in Economics. While at school, I would love to come home to intern at Chevron since the Pascagoula Refinery has grown to be the corporation’s largest U.S. refinery. When I graduate, I want to move home to Pascagoula to share my education and make this town what I believe it can truly be:   A boisterous city with a life and culture unique to itself creating a great place to live, work, and play.

CITY: Is there anything else you would like to add?

BLADES: Everyone always asks me, “Why do you care so much about this town? What makes you feel like this place is important?” Well, I have to say that while I love traveling and visiting big cities and well-known places, there is no place like Pascagoula. I love the Small Town, USA feel you get. You really feel like you know almost everyone. At the same time, I appreciate the large city industry that we have been given. It is a wonderful combination that I feel gives us a better edge. We have access to the river and the ocean, what else could you ask for? Pascagoula is nestled between both and is truly the best location in the country for a beautiful city. And that’s how I feel. With the right leadership and active support of the community, this city has endless possibilities. That is why I feel so impassioned about Pascagoula. It has the potential to be an immense and wonderful city as long as people support the city and the growth its success brings.