Youth leaders honored

Published 8:34 am Friday, April 6, 2012

The 2012 Raymond Miles Youth Leadership graduates are Sarah Grace Carpenter, Caitlin Cato, Ramsay Chambers, Edward Comerford, Claire Culverson, Ethan Godby, Emmalee Griffin, Gunner Griffin, Katie Harrell, Madison Helms, Beth Hodges, Erin Kirkus, Hannah Lambert, Jason Long, Brandi McDonald, Maddie McIntosh, Courtlind Miller, Rion Murrah, Sarah Anne New, Re’Quan Parris, Chason Phillips, Morgan Powell, Daniel Ray, Hunter Savage, Taylor Strickland, Jakob Thorn, Blake Voyles, James Wilson and Amanda Wooten.

By DIANE STRICKLAND

President, Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce

Twenty-nine Bainbridge High School and Grace Christian Academy students have successfully completed the Raymond Miles Youth Leadership program, which is an annual project of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce.

On March 26, participants were honored with a graduation cookout and recognized for their achievement.  Mellori Lumpkin, a 2003 youth leadership graduate and current UC Berkeley Law School student, delivered the graduation address. The Community Service Award, presented by Charlotte Howard of the Leadership Steering Committee, was given to Sarah Ann New for completing the most volunteer hours over the course of the program. Wynema Miles presented the Raymond Miles Leadership Award to Chason Phillips, for his demonstration of outstanding leadership qualities throughout the ten week program.

The 2012 Raymond Miles Youth Leadership graduates are Sarah Grace Carpenter, Caitlin Cato, Ramsay Chambers, Edward Comerford, Claire Culverson, Ethan Godby, Emmalee Griffin, Gunner Griffin, Katie Harrell, Madison Helms, Beth Hodges, Erin Kirkus, Hannah Lambert, Jason Long, Brandi McDonald, Maddie McIntosh, Courtlind Miller, Rion Murrah, Sarah Anne New, Re’Quan Parris, Chason Phillips, Morgan Powell, Daniel Ray, Hunter Savage, Taylor Strickland, Jakob Thorn, Blake Voyles, James Wilson and Amanda Wooten.

The Youth Leadership program began in 1999 and was re-named this year as the Raymond Miles Youth Leadership program, to honor the memory of the late Raymond Miles and the legacy he left behind. This year’s program began with a 12-hour retreat and continued with weekly classes designed for leadership development and community awareness. Other events included a visit to Florida’s State Capitol to see legislators in action, a group tour of DaniMer Scientific, Bainbridge College, and Memorial Hospital and a visit to the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office for a crime and justice session.

This year;s program was led by a dedicated group of volunteers and included: Charlotte Howard, Greg McDonald, Rev. June Johnson, Debbie McIntyre, Ronnie Burke, Dr. Suzi Bonifay, Glennie Bench, Dr. Fred Rayfield, Marlene Free, Ann Wells, Jim Gisondi, Connie Snyder, Dr. Richard Carvajal, Scott Tuten, Billy Walker, Lee Harris, Suzanne Brandt, Allison Harrell, Captain Liz Croley, Captain Chip Nix, Investigator Redell Walden, Cile Warr, Joan Shiver, and Tommie Howell. The committee was also assisted by a group of Youth Leadership alumni: Gabby Howard, Stephanie Mills, Christina Green, Kyle Harris, Josh Smith, Abbey Smith, Cassandra Henry, Meredith Conder, Ashley Waddell, Bryce McQuaid, Justin Maxwell, Anne Reynolds, Dustin Eakin, Kelly Brooks and Will Dozier.

In addition to the many volunteers it takes to make this program successful, many community partners are engaged. The Chamber would like to express our sincere thanks to those businesses, organizations, and institutions for their support in helping shape our future leaders: Bainbridge College, Bainbridge College Division of Continuing Education, Bainbridge High School, Bainbridge YMCA, DaniMer Scientific, Decatur County Board of Education, Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, Grace Christian Academy, Jones-Wheat Elementary School, and Memorial Hospital. The Chamber also wishes to thank and acknowledge Wynema Miles and the Miles Family for their generous gift that will continue to ensure the success of this program for years to come.