Third class of Covington County Youth Leadership gets underway

Published 11:00 am Saturday, September 16, 2023

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The Covington County Youth Leadership Advisory Committee recently announced that 35 high school juniors from around the county have been selected as members of the 2023-2024 cohort.

Now in its third year, members of this year’s class gathered for orientation at the Covington County Administration building on Wednesday, Sept. 13. The number of participants has increased each year since the program’s inception with 29 in 2021-2022, 34 in 2022-2023, and now 35 in 2023-2024.

“Our goal is to expose students to resources and opportunities available in our community and state. We want them to meet and interact with business and community leaders and local officials, and we want them to experience the difference they can make through volunteer service projects,” said CCYL Program Coordinator Dr. Terri Dunn.

Students will meet once per month over the school year on Wednesdays to participate in several leadership sessions. Those sessions include team building, community resources, state and local government, agriculture and industry, healthcare, economic development, community service, etiquette, and communication skills.

Students must attend all program sessions and cannot miss more than the equivalent of two sessions in order to receive a certification of graduation from the CCYL program. Each participant is required to complete a community service project selected by the committee. The class will select a CCYL project chair to oversee the class project. The chair is delegated the responsibility of coordinating with the students and facilitating completion of the project. He/she will keep records of participation to document completion of this part of the requirement for graduation from the CCYL program.

The mission of the Covington County Youth Leadership Program is to prepare students to take active leadership roles in their homes, schools, and communities. 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.

“The most important part of the program is the interactions they get to have with each other. They develop confidence and move from having social media relationships to forming real bonds and having true social interactions with friends from all over the county,” Dunn added.

Andalusia High School participants for 2023-2024 are Olivia Cravey, Will Dalton, Emily Ruth, Graycie Sansom, and Nathan Shellhouse.

“I heard about all the really good scholarship opportunities and wanted to represent my school by being a leader for Andalusia High School. I look forward to all the team bonding and exercises the CCYL does and am also excited about making new friends,” Dalton said.

Florala High School participants for 2023-2024 are Ava Blocker, Nathan Cook, Jayla Davis, Gracie McNeill, and Skylar Quincey.

“I heard about this program from a lot of my older friends, and they said it was really fun. I joined it because I’m excited for the opportunity to make new friends and develop a lot of leadership skills that I don’t already have,” McNeill said.

Opp High School participants for 2023-2024 are Ada Blockstock, Jay’Marcus Head, Addison Moseley, Jaycee Williams, and Madie Wilson.

“I decided to join the program because I’ve heard a lot of good things about the opportunities and scholarships CCYL offers. I also look forward to making new friends and connections throughout my community,” Blackstock said. Blackstock was elected by her peers to serve as this year’s vice-chairman.

Pleasant Home School participants for 2023-2024 are Addison Curry, Jackson Hawkins, Taylor Lawson, Era Grace Lowry, and Sara Catherine Sansom.

“I joined the CCYL to learn more about the community. I look forward to making new friends and participating in all kinds of activities,” Sansom said.

Red Level School participants for 2023-2024 are Kenzie Barnes, Elizabeth Carroll, Bailey Green, Buddy Griffin, Makenna Harrelson, Kayden Lord, and Victoria Walker.

“I decided to do the Youth Leadership program to receive scholarships and meet new people. I look forward to making new friends and helping better my community,” Carroll said.

Straughn High School participants for 2023-2024 are Emiley Faith Bush, Orrin Douglas, Hallie Goodman, Mallory Hall, Christian Pate, Marli Rolling, Arina Thai, and Audrey Ward. Douglas was elected by his peers to serve as this year’s chairman.

“I heard about the program helping with scholarships, making new friends, and bettering in your community. I’m just excited to help make my community grow and have scholarships in the future,” Douglas said.

For more information about the program email or visit the Covington County Youth Leadership Facebook page.