Alumni of Leadership Selma-Dallas County mixed and mingled at their annual Valentine’s Day Alumni Luncheon where members of the current class, Class XIX, shared their vision for Selma. From left, Beth Taylor, executive director for the program stands with Robin Woodson and Tina Yelverton from Class XIX.

Leadership an integral part of Dallas County

Published 9:58pm Thursday, February 14, 2013

Leadership Selma-Dallas County held their annual Valentine’s Day Alumni Luncheon on Thursday and gave former leadership participants a chance to reconnect, discuss issues they are passionate about and come together and learn ways to help the city of Selma.

Leadership, now in the midst of educating its 19th class, has a long history of a successful turnover rate. The class takes people from all walks of life and exposes them to Selma behind the scenes. Class members get to tour the Dallas County Jail; tour industries like Henry Brick Company and explore politics in Selma.

“There are a lot of people who have lived in Selma all of their lives and they have no idea what’s here because we all live in our own little world,” Beth Taylor, executive director for Leadership Selma-Dallas County. “We go to work and we come home and we do social things, but as far as opportunities, we really don’t know what’s here and the Leadership program provides an opportunity for adults to learn about the whole community that they live in — not just one little part of it.”

Taylor said the current class, Class XIX, got to sit with Selma Mayor George Evans and ask him what can be done to better the city.

The program boasts graduates such as state representative Dario Melton.

Alumni Glenn King Jr. said Leadership Selma Dallas County has made a visible difference and had a sizeable impact on the city because of the current city leaders who came from the program.

“If you take a look at the leaders on our city council and our mayor; Look at people who make up the Selma Economic Development Authority and those on the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, Leadership has helped this city,” King said. “Just about everybody that is leading an organization has in Dallas County been through Leadership. It is because of that, we are able to make the positive changes we are making.”

Taylor said the program provides unique opportunities to take people out of their normal element and give them exposure to things that need to be seen by people who will make a difference.

“The leadership program affords the participants the chance to meet the movers and shakers making a difference in Selma and help them do something.,” She said.

The current class is focusing on helping the sister program of Leadership, Youth Leadership Selma-Dallas County. The program takes students from every high school and gives them life skills and exposure to new facets and people in Selma. Class XIX is raising money to help those youth students with their Leadership tuition.

“The youth learn about each other and each other’s schools and they find out that we are not that different — we all want the same thing,” Taylor said.

To learn about Leadership Selma-Dallas County, visit leadership.selmaalabama.com

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