Youth leaders graduate

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 19, 2005

High School juniors from across Shelby County recently demonstrated how they learned the value of civic engagement and the importance of developing character.

Sponsored by Leadership Shelby County, students from Shelby County public schools and the Hoover City School System developed their own community projects to help them learn valuable civic lessons and presented those projects before their Youth Leadership Shelby County graduation exercise held April 14 at the University of Montevallo.

Carol Bruser, executive director of the Greater Shelby County Education Foundation, served as chairman of the committee on youth leadership.

Carol Hill, also a member of the GSCEF Board of Directors, served as chairman of youth graduation.

UM president Dr. Robert McChesney served as guest speaker and challenged the students to take leadership roles on the issues that face the state of Alabama in the future.

George H. &uot;Bucky&uot; Law Jr., president of the board of directors of Leadership Shelby County, introduced youth committee and board members.

And Shelby County School Board member Peg Hill, who served as co-chair of the Committee on Youth Leadership, helped present diplomas.

Students who participated in the program and their schools included:

N Calera High: Christi Sexton.

N Chelsea High: Adam Britt, Charlie Bowman, Morgan Hooper, Evan Waters, Inessa Stanishevskaya, Casey Sloan and Kenneth St. John.

N Hoover High: Roni Abbott.

N Montevallo High: Sarah Gothard, Ashley Houser, Justin Lutz and Mac Thomas.

N Oak Mountain High: Kelsey Andrich, Chandra Chakravarthi, Meaghan Feick, Shaw Lin, Justin Luquire, Thomas Nordyke and Krista Stephenson.

N Pelham High School: Tom Achey, Shawn Kacker, Jenny McMillan and Vincent Stephens.

N Shelby County High: Lauren Billingsley, Kathryn McNorton, Kristy Northcutt and Maurice Whiting.

N Thompson High: Clarissa Bailey, Shelby McDonald, Candyce Osburn, Jessica Posey and Brandon Skidmore.

N Vincent High: Payton Barnes and Courtney Wallace.

The students were divided into groups to develop new relationships with fellow students outside their own school and work with people they did not know before.

McChesney explained that he and Shelby County School Superintendent Evan Major work together on various issues because they know each other. He said that by working with students from other schools, Youth Leadership participants were also building valuable relationships.

Group I’s project was titled &uot;Lost Loves.&uot; The students visited the elderly for Valentine’s Day and Easter.

That group was co-chaired by Sexton of Calera and Barnes of Vincent. Other members included Whiting of Shelby County, Houser of Montevallo, Andrich of Oak Mountain, Britt of Chelsea and McMillan of Pelham.

Group II visited the King’s Ranch Wilsonville facility where they painted a corral.

That group was chaired by Luquire of Oak Mountain and included Hooper of Chelsea, Bailey of Thompson, Thomas of Montevallo, Lin of Oak Mountain, Abbott of Hoover and Stanishevskaya of Oak Mt.

Group III visited the Linda Nolen Learning Center.

It was chaired by Gothard of Montevallo and included Waters of Chelsea, Chakravarthi of Oak Mountain, Stephenson of Oak Mountain, Kacker of Pelham, Skidmore of Thompson and Billingsley of Shelby County..

Group IV also visited the elderly.

Wallace of Vincent chaired the group which included Stephens of Pelham, Lutz of Montevallo, Feick of Oak Mountain, St. John of Chelsea, McNorton of Shelby County and Osburn of Thompson.

Group V collected donations for the Shelby County Humane Society and visited the YMCA.

The group was chaired by McDonald of Thompson and included Bowman of Chelsea, Sloan of Chelsea, Nordyke of Oak Mountain, Achey of Pelham and Northcutt of Shelby and Posey of Thompson.

According to Bruser, &uot;The Shelby County Youth Leadership program is designed to encourage young people to be socially conscientious leaders of the future by providing them with the experiences, vision and opportunity to lead.

&uot;At the conclusion of the year, students share their selected service projects.&uot;

Bruser explained the Youth Leadership Program is sponsored by Leadership Shelby County and is offered at no cost to selected youth.

For information on the program, call Bruser at 980-8604 or contact area school counselors.