Augusta Christian Schools senior Courtney Holland would like to be a television news anchor, and Columbia County's Youth Leadership Program is putting her on the right path.
"I love learning about the county and meeting people from other schools," she said. "I've already learned a lot in the past two sessions. It should help me with my career, help expand my horizons, so to speak."
Courtney was one of 20 students - sophomores, juniors and seniors from public and private schools - selected for the Chamber of Commerce's Youth Leadership Program.
The program is a junior version of Augusta's adult leadership program, said Carolyn Tynan, Georgia Power Company's client manager and a volunteer with the Youth Leadership Program.
"We are looking for folks who will utilize their experiences and give back to the community and can use this information in making career choices," she said.
Program coordinator Joy Fender, director of Doctors Hospital's Occupational Health Services, said the yearlong class began in September with a team-building ropes course. In October, Columbia County Assistant Schools Superintendent Bill Morris led the group on a history session of the area, which included a canoe ride on the canal.
Other sessions will include an overview of the area's health care industry, business, industry and government. Youth Leadership members also are required to perform community service and have adopted a section of Interstate 20 for cleanup. The first cleanup day was Nov. 2. The class will graduate April 24.
On Law Day on Thursday, the group met at the Chamber of Commerce office in Columbia County for an introduction to law enforcement, then they traveled to the sheriff's office in Appling, toured the jail, then toured the Columbia County Justice Center in Evans before having lunch at the Pinnacle Club with area attorneys. Afterwards, the group toured the U.S. Courthouse, where they met U.S. district judges. The day concluded with a symposium with federal agents and marshals explaining the tasks assigned to them.
Lakeside High School student Zack Albrecht said the Youth Leadership Program offers opportunities that will prepare him for his future career in business or finance.
"Besides the fact that it looks good on a college application, I want to do what I can to make myself a better leader," he said.
Columbia County Youth Leadership Class of 2002
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