Twenty-one graduate from Selma-Dallas County Leadership program Tuesday

Published 10:56 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Area students graduated from Youth Leadership Selma-Dallas County Tuesday at Wallace Community College Selma.

Twenty-one seniors and juniors from seven area high schools completed their one year in the program. The leadership program allows students across the county to earn skills that will help them throughout their lives, said interim director Callie Nelson.

“It (youth leadership) brings students together with the purpose of teaching them how to work together to develop leadership and community development skills, ” she said.

This year’s graduates included Bart Harrison Adams, Esosa Aghedo, Lekeybriana Allen, Ivana Agion, Ty’Niquea Edwards, Cyron Ellis, Jackson Henderson, Frances Henry, Natalie Henry, Rykia Henry, James Woodham Kemmer, Courvoisier Lewis, Caleb McDougal, Calvin Oslund, Epiphany Simmons, John Stewart, Mary Stewart, Ryan Stokes, Latravious Strong, Sophie Talton and Marketa Williams.

The ceremony was a culmination of all the work the graduates had completed this year. Nelson said the graduates have bright futures ahead of them.

“They have various talents and career interests,” she said. “They have a real exciting future. I wish I were back at that age. I’d do it all over again.”

Award winners, which were selected by fellow classmates, were also recognized at the ceremony.

The top honor went to Rykia Henry, who received the Harriet Bates Star Award, which goes to the top class member. Kemmer and Mary Stewart also each received the Harriet Bates Rising Star Award for their involvement in the organization.

Selma High School senior Cyron Ellis was not just excited about graduation, but showcasing his service project. Graduates were required to present a community service project they completed during the commencement.

“I planted flowers in the community,” Ellis said. “I cleaned up the area where I stay, and put flowers there. People wouldn’t think I’d do flowers, but I wanted to help out where I stay in my community.”

Other class members presented projects on cleanup initiatives, clothing donations and the Child Advocacy Center. Keith High School student Ty’Niquea Edwards said leadership taught her a lot.

“I’ve learned skills people should consider learning before they actually graduate high school, instead of trying to be in the real world and learning it then,” she said.