Inaugural class named for county’s student youth leadership program

Published 10:07 am Monday, November 22, 2021

After two years of planning, this Fall marks a first for Covington County.

“We officially now have a Youth Leadership Program,” said Dr. Terri Dunn of the Alabama Community College System. “This has been a passion of mine for quite some time, and as soon as my job brought me back to Andalusia, I knew this would be something I could help establish in our community.”

“The first step was creating an Advisory Committee. I reached out to Greg White, County Commission Chairman, and he was able to pull together a great team of community leaders to plan what the program should look like.”

The Committee includes representatives from Southeast Alabama Gas District; the Alabama Community College System; Power South; Covington Electric; Lurleen B. Wallace Community College; Children’s Policy Council; the County Commission; Opp, Andalusia, and Covington County Schools; the Cities of Opp, Andalusia, and Florala; Vocational Rehab; the South Alabama Regional Airport; AFLAC; local churches; the County Extension Office; and more.

The mission of the Covington County Youth Leadership Program is to prepare students to take active leadership roles in their homes, schools, and communities. The program seeks to provide students with a greater understanding of current issues through interaction with peers, community leaders, and decision-makers; expose students to resources available in the community and state; provide students with opportunities to experience the difference they can make through volunteer service projects; and to expand students’ network of friends, peers, and contacts.

Eligibility is limited to high school juniors within Covington County, who are at least 15 years of age and have a “C” average or better. Up to five students from each school may be selected to participate. Participants will attend one leadership session per month from September through April, and participate in a local service project. Sessions planned for the 2021-2022 program year include: Orientation & Teambuilding, Local Government, Agriculture & Industry, Healthcare, STEAM, State Government, and a joint session with youth programs from other counties sponsored by Alabama Power called, “The Power of YOUth Leadership Summit.”

Students selected for the 2021-2022 program year include:

Andalusia High School – Mollie Furr, Cameron Johnson, Grace Shellhouse, Meleah Treadaway, and Brianna Yelder

Florala High School – Allisson Ellisor, John Howell, Chloe Russell, Zane Weeks, and Johan, Zamora

Opp High School – Lexi Bush, Caroline Courson, Anna Harrison (not pictured), John Helms, and Brooke Moseley (not pictured)

Pleasant Home High School – Marion Bradley, Brodie Griffin, Courtney Griggs, and Anna Clair Harper

Red Level High School – Kaitly Beverly, Summer Beverly, Elizabeth Cross, Kayley Peebles, and Walker Simmons (not pictured)

Straughn High School – Katie Davis, Emeril Moore (not pictured), Taj Patel, Karleigh Sanders, and Wyatt Smith

For more information about the Covington County Youth Leadership Program, contact Dr. Terri Dunn at terri.dunn@accs.edu or (334) 652-1739.