TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Thousands of students filled the BancorpSouth Arena Monday to show off their skills during the Junior Beta Club state convention.
"It's a great opportunity for the young people to show what they can do: talent wise, academic wise and other sections too," said Stan Long, chairman of the Mississippi Beta Council.
According to officials the Beta Club is the largest student convention in the state. Club members are also required to perform a number of community service hours per semester.
"It's really fun. You win something, and it feels nice, like all the hard work has finally paid off," said Lemarcus Echoles, a Junior Beta Club member.
Club members traveled from across the state to compete in talent, academic, craft and living literature competitions.
"It teaches them work ethic first; they get the honor of being in Beta Club through grades and character, but then after all that, [there's] the work ethic they have to put in. We put in hours and hours of work on everything we do here," said Allyson Grubbs, a Beta Club sponsor.
Officials say about 45,000 Junior Beta Club members will participate in this year's convention. The convention will wrap up Tuesday with a final talent contest and an awards presentation.