Selma youth receives Honor Leader Award

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Reese Armstrong says he practically grew up at the YMCA, playing soccer and basketball, then joining the Leaders Club.

This past June, the 17-year-old received one of the highest honors a member of the YMCA’s Leaders Club can get – The Paul M. Grist Honor Leader Award. The award was given at the Blue Ridge Leader School in Black Mountain, N.C., which Armstrong has attended since 7th grade.

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“Every year, they give out awards for the best leaders,” Armstrong said. “It’s a huge deal to be nominated – a huge honor. I didn’t think I’d get nominated, much less get voted on.”

Out of the 800 School attendees, staff members select three boys and three girls for the honor. Each nominee is judged based on points, with Armstrong receiving the highest number of points at this year’s School.

Most of those who receive the honor are like Armstrong – they’ve grown up in the YMCA and grown up in Leaders Club.

“Receiving the Paul M. Grist award was real special to me because I’m from the Grist YMCA,” said Armstrong, who is entering his senior year at Morgan Academy.

The six Honor Leaders will go to North Carolina for a weekend training session before next year’s Leader School. Then, next June, they’ll run the school for that one week –

teaching basic leadership classes, leading prayers and directing night time activities.

“We’ll build them up to be better leaders – that’s what the school is all about,” he said.

Back in Selma, Armstrong is on the tennis team at Morgan, and attends the First Presbyterian Church.

He is the son of Bob and Ann Armstrong and has one sister and one brother.