Leaders in action

The Covington News - - Local news -

Some peo­ple may be born leaders, but many more are shaped into lead­er­ship roles.

New­ton County is for­tu­nate to have a pro­gram pur­pose­fully guid­ing young leaders to de­velop their skills and to open their eyes to the lead­er­ship needs in our com­mu­nity.

Each year, 21 sopho­mores and ju­niors are cho­sen based on their emerg­ing lead­er­ship skills, grades, and com­mu­nity in­volve­ment to join the Youth Lead­er­ship In­sti­tute.

Alumni of the pro­gram can be found through­out our com­mu­nity to­day—train­ing em­ploy­ees, run­ning civic groups, manag­ing busi­nesses and us­ing their lead­er­ship skills to help our com­mu­nity and those around us.

Dur­ing an overnight re­treat at the Uni­ver­sity of Ge­or­gia, stu­dents fo­cus on teamwork and per­son­al­ity as­sess­ment to build lead­er­ship skills through a non-tra­di­tional class­room set­ting.

The stu­dents join the county’s adult lead­er­ship pro­gram, Lead­er­ship New­ton, for a trip to the state capi­tol to meet state of­fi­cials and pose for the tra­di­tional pho­to­graph with the gov­er­nor. An­other day is spent vis­it­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try sites to meet lo­cal leaders and see how lead­er­ship is used in New­ton County. A pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment day fo­cuses on top­ics such as in­ter­per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tion, pub­lic speak­ing, busi­ness and per­sonal eti­quette and other top­ics es­sen­tial to lead­er­ship.

An ad­di­tion this year is a com­mu­nity ser­vice re­quire­ment, fur­ther em­pha­siz­ing the need for lead­er­ship and ser­vice in our own com­mu­nity.

Fi­nally, stu­dents in the pro­gram are re­quired to visit lo­cal gov­ern­ment meet­ings to see lead­er­ship in action.

This year, four ris­ing ju­niors were se­lected to rep­re­sent New­ton County at the three-day Ge­or­gia Youth Sum­mit. The bian­nual event brings teams of four youth and one adult part­ner to­gether with state leaders “to in­crease aware­ness of state and lo­cal is­sues, en­hance youth-adult part­ner­ships on the lo­cal level and to equip youth to be­come ac­tive lo­cally in the bet­ter­ment of their com­mu­nity,” ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial web site.

The team met prior to the Sum­mit to de­velop a re­port on lo­cal de­mo­graph­ics, re­sources and needs and de­vel­oped a plan to ad­dress a need in our com­mu­nity at the sum­mit.

Al­most 700 youth from 137 coun­ties at­tended the Sum­mit, rep­re­sent­ing the best of youth lead­er­ship in our com­mu­nity. Th­ese stu­dents use their nat­u­ral abil­ity, the lessons they have learned from lo­cal leaders and the re­sources given through the Youth Sum­mit to make a dif­fer­ence right here, right now.

If you would like to sup­port their pro­gram in some way, please feel free to con­tact me at any time to vol­un­teer your ser­vices or find out more. The fol­low­ing is a re­port di­rectly from our team:

“In Septem­ber of 2008, Sherita Gre­gory, Jas­mine Simp­son, Tyler Ran­som, and Kyle Dobins were the four high school stu­dents cho­sen to rep­re­sent New­ton County at the 2008 Ge­or­gia Youth Sum­mit.

“Dur­ing the Sum­mit, stu­dents were given the op­por­tu­nity to come up with an adult/youth part­ner­ship project to ben­e­fit New­ton County. Their project idea con­cerned New­ton County’s test scores from the SAT, ACT and the GHSGT.

“Their­pro­ject is calledOper­a­tion S.A.G. (SAT, ACT, and GHSGT) which will hope­fully im­prove our test scores and also give stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to score ex­ceed­ingly high on th­ese tests.

“There­fore, stu­dents will be able to earn schol­ar­ships and ob­tain a broad va­ri­ety of colleges to choose from.

“How­ever, in or­der to be­gin this pro­gram they would like to have four teach­ers from each high school in­New­ton County (one rep­re­sent­ing each core sub­ject) who would like to ded­i­cate their time to im­prove New­ton County’s test scores.

“The pro­gram will con­sist of a few Satur­days be­fore the SATs, ACTs, and GHSGTs, where teach­ers will go through a SAT book and help stu­dents un­der­stand the prob­lems, sit­u­a­tions, and ques­tions that will be asked of them.

“We would also ap­pre­ci­ate it if stu­dents who have pre­vi­ously taken th­ese test and scored ex­tremely well on them helped out as well; th­ese stu­dents will be given com­mu­nity ser­vice hours for their time.

“We would greatly ap­pre­ci­ate it if you all de­cide to help us out. Cur­rently, we have teach­ers from Al­covy High School help­ing, but we are in need of teach­ers and stu­dents from both New­ton and East­side high schools.

“If you need to con­tact us, you can e-mail us at Oper­a­tionSAG@ ya­hoo.com or write us at oper­a­tionSAG.blogspot.com. More in­for­ma­tion will be pro­vided as the project pro­gresses. Thank you all in ad­vance for your sup­port. Sherita Gre­gory, Jas­mine Simp­son, Tyler Ran­som.”

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