Leadership Shelby County Class of 2022 graduates

Published 2:47 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2022

By EMILY SPARACINO | Staff Writer 

NORTH SHELBY – The members of the Leadership Shelby County Class of 2022 underscored their desire to better the community as they presented their group service projects during a graduation luncheon on Tuesday, May 10 at Jefferson State Community College’s Shelby-Hoover Campus.

The 30-member class represented the 27th class of Leadership Shelby County, a nine-month program that offers participants an up-close look at the county’s challenges and potential, along with tools they can use to serve in different areas.

“When you think about how to serve, all you have to ask is a simple question: ‘How can I help you?’” County Manager Chad Scroggins said. “That will give you that opportunity to serve them. I encourage you to engage, and I encourage you to be available to fail, willing to fail, accept failure, but also that you take care of yourselves.”

Leadership Shelby County board member Amy Bradley urged this year’s graduates to stay engaged in the program, noting alumni support and sponsorships allow students to participate in the Youth Leadership Shelby County program at no cost.

“Our program remains strong and stable because our graduates continue to stay involved in our program, and they continue to contribute and invest their time,” Bradley said. “There are many opportunities that you will be given to engage. Our county is better for your contribution, and I encourage you to wear your Leadership Shelby County pin with pride.”

The 2022 Leadership Shelby County graduates completed the following projects during their time in the program:

• Group 1 created the Serve 808 initiative to partner with the YMCA Youth Service Club to engage local teenagers in service activities with Shelby County’s existing and new nonprofits. The club is open to 7th-12th graders and connects them with volunteer opportunities throughout the county. Service days are held on the first Saturday of each month from September through April. The first two service days this year took place at Shelby Emergency Assistance and Shelby Humane Society.

Members of Group 1 were Alison Baggett, Candler Boyd, Sandy Evers, John Gwin, Kristin Harris, Eric Jeffries, Antoinette Madison, Denver McCool, Amy Sturdivant and David Willingham.

• Group 2 created the Discover Shelby County Challenge, a social media contest designed to encourage people to explore the many amenities Shelby County has to offer. During the month-long contest, people were invited to visit as many places as they could throughout the county—parks, golf courses, trails, businesses and other destinations—take a photo at each place, and post their photos to Facebook or Instagram with two hashtags, #SeeShelbyAL and #DiscoverShelbyAL, for a chance to win prizes.

Members of Group 2 were Jennifer Beckett, Robb Carter, Alec Etheredge, Amanda Fowler, Bill Hilyer, Bethany Ivey, Anthony Kingston, Courtney Nunn, Rebekah Parr and Chris Stricklin.

• Group 3 created Unplug to Plug In, a movement aimed at helping people develop healthy digital habits and focus on real connections, conversations and community. The initiative provides strategies on how people can reduce time spent on their devices, along with information about local places and activities available to families as they unplug from their devices and connect with each other face to face. The Unplug to Plug In resources are available via the Compact website, Compact2020.com/unplug-to-plug-in.

Members of Group 3 were Melinda Bennett, Kelly Ellis Davis, Joe Feese, Cathy Hitt, Nathan Kendrick, Nicole Knight, Kristy Mosolino, Tonya Smitherman, Kendall Speed and John Wolsoncroft.