Selma High student selected for development program

Published 9:50 pm Saturday, June 16, 2018

By: Oniska Blevins

Selma resident Jordan Johnson was one of 22 of Alabama’s brightest students selected to attend the Huntington College Economic and Community Development Scholars Program. The Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce sponsored Johnson, and executive director Sheryl Smedley said she couldn’t be prouder of Johnson.

“We’re very proud of Jordan and we look forward to seeing what the stars have out there for her,” Smedley said.

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Johnson will be a senior this upcoming fall at Selma High School. She is a straight A student and involved in several different organizations.

She is a cheerleader, member of Student Government Association, Future Business Leaders of America, Youth Dallas County Leadership and DECA.

After hearing about the program, Johnson applied.

Each student had to submit an essay answering, “Where do you see Selma and Dallas County in ten years, and what strategies for community and economic development being the most successful here?”

“A committee was selected and the essays were presented to the committee with the applicants’ names unknown,” Smedley said.

After being chosen by the committee, Johnson was off to the three-day program.

“The purpose of the scholars program is to show students what Alabama has to offer,” Smedley said. “It’s to open their eyes to see this as their future home for career opportunities.”

Students had the opportunity to tour Hyundai, downtown Montgomery and speak with political leaders in the community.

“Throughout the entire program, we learned something new each day,” Johnson said.

“[The program] gave me more leadership skills, and it helped me with my speaking skills as well,” she said.

After graduation next May, Johnson plans to major in nursing at either Troy University or the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She plans to become a nurse anesthesiologist.

“Since I was little, I wanted to be in the medical field,” she said. “I enjoy taking care of others, and I feel like that field fits my personality as far as caring for people.”

Now that the program is over, Johnson is looking forward to the upcoming school year.

“During my senior year, I’m looking forward to using all of the skills and important information [I learned during the program],” she said. “I will use the different economic skills, leadership skills and different things to help make my community better than it already is.”

The students are not the only people looking forward to what comes next after completing the program.

Anthony Leigh, Huntingdon College senior vice president, said he has high hopes for the students.

“We were excited to have 22 of Alabama’s brightest lights on campus,” he said. “These students have returned to their communities enlightened about what economic and community developers do, and we hope that knowledge has given them an appreciation for the work of growing and bettering our communities and our state.”