Students graduate from 2013 YOUth LEAD program

Published 3:41 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The 2013 YOUth Lead class held its graduation ceremony Tuesday during a luncheon at Rooster Hall.

The 2013 YOUth Lead class held its graduation ceremony Tuesday during a luncheon at Rooster Hall.

The 24 graduates of this year’s YOUth LEAD class were recognized Tuesday during a luncheon and graduation ceremony at Rooster Hall.

The class is made up of mostly seniors and juniors, along with a couple of sophomores, from Demopolis and John Essex high schools.

This year’s group marked the eighth class to complete the leadership program.

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“I really enjoyed this experience of being in YOUth Lead, making friends and learning about leadership,” Cedric Cooks said.

Each student said a few words about what they learned from the experience. They were also presented with certificates and T-shirts.

“I’ve learned from this experience that you can’t make people follow you, (but) you have to inspire and nurture them,” Anna Camille Manning said.

One of the YOUth LEAD board members is Kathryn Friday from the Alabama Co-op Extension. She said an Auburn University roundtable several years ago said leadership was one of the things needed in the Black Belt.

“Leaders aren’t born; they learn to be leaders,” Friday said.

As a group, the 2013 class volunteered to work on Christmas on the River parade floats and traveled to Montgomery with Leadership Marengo. They had other sessions that focused on city, county and state government and additional topics.

This year’s class includes Wesley Anderson, Kesean Bell, Maira Cardenas, Madelyn Coats, Cedric Cooks, Christian Corbitt, Houston Davis, Jarvis Edwards, Rodney Harper, Talacy Harper, Demetrius Kempt, Jack Kerby, Noah Long, Anna Camille Manning, Fallon Martin, Hope Moore, Tyler Oates, Susanna Speegle, Reid-Claire Stein, Christian Troupe, Victoria Washburn, Regianna Wiggins, Savannah Williams and Meghan Wright.

Juniors Christian Corbitt and Reid-Claire Stein were voted by their classmates to return and help with next year’s class.

YOUth LEAD board members are Catherine Meador, chairman; Lucinda Mason, secretary; Kayte Melton, treasurer; Katie Windham; Kathryn Friday; Braxton Spahos; Valley Harrison; and Connie Davis.