Thursday, November 26, 2009
Youth leadership sees first-year success
By SUE WATSON
A select group of youngsters completed a big portion of 2009 Youth Leadership Marshall last week with two 4-H experts from Mississippi State and local 4-H agent Lemon Phelps providing instruction and a fun program.
The next step for the group of 24 youngsters will be to attend the next adult leadership class that begins in January. Students will then move on to develop a project within the schools with the help of administrators and adult leadership graduates, according to Chris Cothern, a graduate of the 2009 adult class who has helped organize this first program for youth.
The county’s leadership program offers coveted opportunities for personal and professional development and has graduated about 120 adult leaders. These youth will join those elite few who are the pioneers of the vision that will help direct the future of Marshall County and the towns and cities.
Cothern said the public feedback from this prestigious youth program has been excellent.
“Someone stopped me in Dollar General in Mt. Pleasant and said how proud they are that this is the first time it (the youth program) has happened,” Cothern said. “One new college student said she wished she had taken this as it would have helped prepare her for college.”
Adult leadership graduate Kerry Reid, principal of Byhalia Middle School, said the next step in this for the student leadership graduates will be for them to conduct their own program at school.
“They are scared but excited to share what they have learned,” he said. “And talk in the community is that this is something that brings the community together as opposed to athletic competitions which bring them together in opposition. Others say they will spread the seeds for communities to unify in other ways in the county.”
“The big thing is we compete against each other so much in athletics,” said Chris Ferrell, assistant principal at H.W. Byers School. “Athletics requires a winner and loser, but this is a win-win because in the end, kids are kids no matter where you go to school.”
Students took a moment out of their busy schedule to write down what they would like to see Youth Leadership Marshall become in the schools. Some of their ideas are as follows:
• “I would like to see Youth Leadership Marshall become a big impact to Marshall County - to let all leaders follow us, which are going the right way.” -– Arkeeshia Nichols
• “I would like to see Youth Leadership Marshall become active leaders in our county and schools.” -– Amber Johnson
• “I would like to see it move forward and continue to have these meetings in the future.” – Elgin Lafever
• “I think this should be statewide. What I would like to see is field trips with the Marshalls to give them a brighter look on things.” – Alan Shaw
• “I would like for Youth Leadership Marshall to draw other youth to help make the community a better place for us all and to show us that it is not only the adults who are leaders. The youth are, too.” – Lori Simpson
• “Get more members in Leadership Marshall because it is a good program.” -– Kendrick Parker
• “Community work would be good for all of us to do.” -– Name withheld
• “I would like to show the kids that they can be a leader, too.” – Marquaveous Walker
• “I would like to see Youth Leadership come to my school and talk or be leaders to our younger or elementary students.” – Jose’ Ramirez
• “I would like to see Youth Leadership Marshall help make Marshall County a better environment and teach others how to be leaders. – Shelbie Dalton
• “I would like Leadership to keep on going all year and make us good leaders.” -– Roy Romero
• “I would like to see Youth Leadership Marshall become more involved with the community.” – Kendra DeBerry.
• “I would like to see Youth Leadership Marshall make good leaders out of a lot of the youth in schools today. – Briana Cheatwood
• “I would like this program to expand and become more active to encourage younger people to bring leadership in their lives and other people’s lives. -– Andre Jones
• “I would like for those of us from my school to go back and share all that we’ve learned with our fellow students and have more members.” -– Rachel Smith
• “I would like to see Youth Marshall go to all schools and meet with all the honor roll students. Let them have one day off school for a Youth Marshall meeting so they can experience what it is like to go to a Youth Marshall meeting.” – Laniqua Collins
• “I would like to see Youth Leadership Marshall to go and visit the nursing home. I would also like to see this group go on a trip and become stronger and grow together. I want us to go to the nursing home to maybe give advice to the older people and put a smile upon their faces.” – Tearrica Martin
• “I would like to see the cliques go away. I don’t like to see people left out or called names. I hope that I can become a strong enough leader to put an end to that so that people can see that everyone is equal. No one should be more popular just because of sports, or clubs or looks. Too many people look down on themselves if they are not popular. Everyone is equal. I want to show people that.” – Emma Elgin
• “I would enjoy it if Youth Leadership Marshall participates in many activities for the town of Byhalia. Some activities would be probably to walk around in the parade so that the town would get to see and know more about leadership.” – Teresa Garcia
• “I would like to see the Youth Leadership of Marshall become more involved in community activities and helping other community problems.” – Chasity Collins
• “I would like to see it become a club throughout nearby states so they can all meet in a conference or something of the sort.” – Carlos Martin
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