Youth learn about foundations of leadership

Posted 9/3/17

The 16th year of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership program kicked off with 26 high school juniors and seniors recently attending a daylong leadership retreat before the start …

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Youth learn about foundations of leadership


The 16th year of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership program kicked off with 26 high school juniors and seniors recently attending a daylong leadership retreat before the start of their academic school year.

The students, selected in an application process, represent Bradley Central, Cleveland and Walker Valley High Schools and Tennessee Christian Preparatory School.

The Youth Leadership program encompasses eight months and gives the students opportunities to learn about local economy, heritage and tourism, city and county government and services, and health and human services. They also experience a day in Nashville to learn about state government.

Following a presentation by Dr. Fred Garmon, executive director of LeaderLABS titled, “The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership,” the students were involved in activities that focused on getting to know each other, team building, critical thinking, creativity and competition.

The young leaders also reviewed different leadership qualities discussed in Carla Curtsinger’s book ‘You’re a Leader, Charlie Brown,’ which was required reading prior to the retreat. The students enjoyed competing in a Jeopardy game with the “answers” relating to the book, facts about Cleveland and current trivia.

The 26 young people continued to learn about each other, team-building skills and other leadership traits as they participated in activities at Johnston Woods led by Adam Reuss, Johnston Woods director from the Broad Street United Methodist Church.

The highlight of the team-building exercises was a group effort to help each student scale a wall and descend on the other side.

The 2017-18 Youth Leadership class will participate in a service project for Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland that will include a challenge for each school to raise funds for the local organization and an investment of “sweat equity” by working on a Habitat house or in the Habitat ReStore.

“This class is already excited about the opportunities to learn about their community and see our local leaders in action,” Sherry Crye, youth leadership coordinator, said about this year’s class.

“We can already see their leadership traits and know they will develop into much stronger leaders as the year continues. The year’s activities will also teach them the importance of how they will contribute as future leaders in our community.”

Members of 2017-18 Youth Leadership class from Bradley Central High School are Brooklyn Armstrong, Madelyn Arthur, Mollie Burris, Jared Elrod, Emily Harris, Avery Morrison, Clay Shoemaker and Emily White.

Representing Cleveland High School are Joseph Brown, Elena Burton, Torr Coulthard, Harper Fuller, Rheagan Hall, Hannah Rollins, Anna Kate Sims and Jaynae Wright.

Youth leaders from Tennessee Christian Preparatory School are Parker Benton and Aayush Patel.

Youth leaders from Walker Valley High School are Gaby Burse, Maddie Dill, Jordan Fox, Anna Grace Jackson, Sarah Moultrie, Hayden Nicholson, Nikki VanDusen and Riley White.


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