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Leadership lock-in successful

This weekend, the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce held its annual youth leadership lock-in from 10 a.m. Saturday morning and continued through 8 a.m. Sunday.

The Decatur County Youth Leadership Program is designed to develop leadership skills, offer interaction opportunities in our county, and increase awareness of community issues, needs and resources.

Students chosen to partake in the various events and activities that the leadership program offers were appointed by their teachers and nominated by a committee of leadership board members.

Congratulations to the following students who were selected for the Leadership Class of 2010: Mary Ann Adams, Keenan Adams, Adam Anderson, Holly Barber, Steven Bench, Will Bius, Chelsey Bryant, Kenneth Burke, Sarah Bush, Stephen Dunn, Cole Farrington, Sarah Franklin, Christina Green, Kyle Harris, Janet Hatcher, Gabrielle Howard, Michael Jones, Sallie King, Chelsea Kornse, Mitchell Massengill, Anye’ Miller, Samantha Nevarez, Tyler Pollock, Anne Reynolds, Abbey Reynolds, Joshua Smith, Austin Spooner, Jennifer Voyles, Christopher Webster, Sloane Wiggins, Hannah Williams and Tad Young.

These students were selected out of more than 80 applications from sophomores and juniors attending Bainbridge High School and Grace Christian Academy, as well as home-schooled students in Decatur County.

The Leadership Class of 2010, in addition to the lock-in, will have classes at the Continuing Education Building at Bainbridge College on Monday nights from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Jan. 11 to March 15. Students will receive lessons regarding the community in which they live, how to communicate effectively, business etiquette, manners, and the importance of setting goals and making wise decisions.

Outstanding members in our community are scheduled to voluntarily speak at these classes and are greatly appreciated for their time and effort in encouraging all participating students to become better leaders.

This year, I have been given the opportunity to participate in this very rewarding program, and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend time with my peers working on team-building games as well as listening to Charlotte Howard speak about the importance of using my leadership potential to my fullest ability.

During the lock-in this weekend, we played various high-energy types of games, watched a movie from which we identified leadership qualities, competed in a “mild version” of Fear Factor, consumed lots of junk food that kept us awake until about 5:30 Sunday morning, and most importantly, increased our leadership skills while forming new relationships and friendships with others.

“This Leadership Program is what you make it,” Howard told our class of developing leaders.

Our class has the capacity learn extensive information that is applicable not only to our current life situations, but also to our futures. But whether or not we allow ourselves to actually use these gained qualities is based on our individual decisions. The Leadership Class of 2010 has been given an amazing opportunity, which will hopefully yield equally amazing results.

President of the Chamber of Commerce Evelyn Clay, chairman of the Steering Committee Charlotte Howard, and Greg McDonald are largely responsible for the success of the leadership program.

I would personally like to express my appreciation to them, as well as all of the members of the Steering Committee. You all did an outstanding job in organizing the program this year, and after experiencing just the beginning, I know that this is going to be a great experience and hope to gain a lot from it.

Thank you for all your time and patience in what you do, not only for the youth leadership program, but more importantly, for Decatur County.

Galatians 6:9 reads, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

I know that it is not always easy to manage a very excited, talkative group of 30 high school students, but you all never give up on us or doubt our potential. In the end, I know that you will see the benefits of your undying support and direction—a class full of stronger, more effective leaders.