Youth Leadership Program renamed for Miles

Published 1:16 pm Monday, October 17, 2011

The Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce will honor the memory of the late Raymond Miles thanks to a generous gift by Wynema “Sam” Miles and the Miles Family, according to a press release from the Chamber.

The Youth Leadership Program will be named the Raymond Miles Youth Leadership Program. Raymond Miles, a great advocate of the Chamber and of all things educational, fit a lot into his 85 years. He also held many titles — real estate developer, insurance salesman, member of local and state offices, patron of the arts and Decatur County Man of the Year, to name a few. He loved Bainbridge fiercely, and with the help of his wife “Sam,” even wrote a book titled Thank You, Bainbridge! in appreciation of the support he received as a member of the community.

“He was thankful for the opportunities he had been given here,” Mrs. Wynema “Sam” Miles said. “He wanted himself and his family to be a good example for young people.”

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So, it is a fitting tribute that “Sam” and the Miles family have made a generous commitment to fund the youth program in honor of Raymond Miles and the legacy he left behind. Now in its 14th year, the prestigious program offers high school sophomores and juniors a 12-week interactive course designed to build leadership skills and increase awareness of community issues, needs and resources.

“Raymond was a big supporter of education,” Mrs. Miles said. “We are honored the family got the chance to participate in the leadership program. It’s a thrill for us to be able to remember him in a special way.”

‘Giving something back’

Raymond Miles’ son, Larry Miles, said he thought his father would be proud to be associated with the youth leadership program.

“One of his concerns was that people of his generation—like himself, Jimmy Harrell and Max Langston—used their success to put a lot back into the community,” Miles said. “His hope was that other people would come in behind them and continue giving back. He would be happy to have his name on a program that trains new leaders, shows them the importance of working for their community and giving something back.”

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Raymond Miles Youth Leadership Program. Sophomore and junior high school students may be nominated by a teacher, faculty member or by a community leader and should be directed to the Chamber of Commerce before the Nov. 1, 2011, deadline.

Please include the nominees name, address, school and grade level. Nominees must also complete a leadership application and a class of 30 students will be chosen by the Chamber’s Leadership Committee.