MHS students learn through leadership

Published 12:46 pm Monday, March 26, 2012

By MICHELLE ADAMS / Guest Columnist

On the first Tuesday of each month, three Montevallo High School students attend Leadership Shelby County. Juniors Sarah Fowler, Landon Goodwin and Sarah Hyde were selected for this honor based on GPA, evidence of leadership, acts of service and teacher recommendation.

An initial opening retreat at the 4-H Center introduced students to this leadership program; students from all over the county spent time getting to know each other and developing team-building skills. Each month students visit businesses or organizations located in Shelby County.

“Our visit to Shelby Baptist Medical Center was inspirational for me,” Goodwin said. “I plan to go into the medical field, and I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of a hospital.”

The county jail and juvenile detention center were also visited, where students witnessed the way in which inmates live.

Most recently, students traveled to Montgomery to tour the capitol and witness government in action.

“Visiting Montgomery was enlightening because we learned more about how state government works,” Fowler said.

After meeting state Senators Slade Blackwell and Cam Ward, Senate Majority Leader Jabo Waggoner and Representatives Mike Hill and April Weaver, students also toured the Department of Archives Building, which houses many artifacts related to Alabama history.

As part of the Leadership Shelby County program, students team with others to create a service project to benefit young people in Shelby County. Fowler, Goodwin and Hyde have been working with students from Calera High School to create a public service announcement related to the damaging effects of smoking marijuana.

“We felt that this is an important topic because children have begun to use drugs at an earlier age,” Hyde said.

For these three MHS students, the opportunities provided by Leadership Shelby County have been an invaluable experience. Being able to collaborate with other students, discover more about the area in which they live and understand the workings of state government prepare these students to be future leaders of Shelby County.

Michelle Adams is an English teacher at Montevallo High School.