Leadership group visits Children’s HarborPublished 7:42pm Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Members of Junior Leadership Lake Martin gathered with some of the county’s civic officials on Tuesday at Children’s Harbor for a one-day conference entitled “City Day” – one of a series of different educational meetings designed around a select topic – which mostly took place in the facility’s main conference room overlooking Lake Martin. It aimed to expose the young ladies and gentlemen to the workings of a municipality.
In all, there were 24 junior students from five high schools within Tallapoosa County: Benjamin Russell, Dadeville, Edward Bell, Horseshoe Bend and Reeltown.
Some of the local city employees stopped by for a meet-and-greet that included and a question-and-answer period.
“(This gathering) is about how a city’s run,” said Alexander City City Councilman Bob Howard, who is also a member of the Junior Leadership’s Board of Directors. “We had the (Alexander City) Code Enforcement Officer Steve Morgan and (Alexander City) Police Chief (Charles) Rafford.”
Dadeville City Attorney Robin Reynolds even delivered the day’s lunch from Catherine’s Market for those assembled.
The majority of “City Day” centered around a mock town council meeting that focused on a hypothetical company, Green Burn, locating here. As an alternative source of power to the municipal grid, Green Burn would take over waste management duties and use that trash to generate energy. First the students were divided into three
groups – the city administration, the citizens and the company representatives. As the spokespersons for Green Burn, BRHS students Jenny Lamberth and Ben Chappell made the pitch to a mock council that was led by Mayor-pretend Julia Hendricks of DHS. The Green Burn duo fielded serious questions after their proposal about the odor from production, the factory location, its environmental impact and the ability to replace recently lost jobs, for example.
In the mock vote that followed, Hendricks and company unanimously rejected Green Burn’s request, citing that the company representatives displayed inconsistencies in their presentations – especially when it came to the emitted odor and number of jobs.
The students’ day ended with a group activity that counted against the 40 community service hours the group voted on as their personal year-long project. After the delegation of duties by Children’s Harbor Thrift Store manager Debra Krauel, the 24 students set about cleaning the inside and outside of the store, as well as other outlying areas.
Some of the other volunteer work that the Junior Leadership members have worked on individually include, Jaylan Reynolds’ work at Alexander City Gymnastics; Paige Gordon’s coaching of the church affiliated Upward Cheerleading squad; Rayanna Davis’ work during Diabetes Awareness Month (November) for the American Diabetes Association; and Danielle Evans and Jernekia Floyd’s work during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October for the American Cancer Society.
Junior Leadership is a program designed to groom and prep high school students for future roles in positions of responsibility. Over the course of this current year, the group will have had sessions on such subjects as state, health, economic development and county matters.
“The purpose of Junior Leadership is to impress upon the youth at an early age that they can be future leaders and give them an idea of what we go through as leaders of today. (And) to show them the variations of civic leadership, what’s involved and the importance of making the right decisions,” said Radney Elementary school secretary Lottie Wyckoff, who was in attendance for the “City Day” symposium as a member of the Junior Leadership board and as a member of the Alexander City City Council.