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Chamber launches cohort for youth

AMERICUS — The Sumter County Chamber announces the 2017-2018 Chamber Champion Youth Leadership program. This eight-month program consists of 25 high school juniors selected from both Americus-Sumter High School and Southland Academy. Utilizing the Youth Leadership in Action Curriculum from the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, students will meet monthly to learn the principles of leadership and how to actively serve as a role model in the community in which they reside. The sessions will focus on understanding leadership and team building, effective communication, appreciating difference, managing conflict, building teams/economic development, setting goals/making decision and time management, mapping your community and exercising community leadership. The Chamber Champions kicked off their year on Aug. 30 on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University.
The Chamber’s Leadership Development Division Chair, Paul Farr, said, “The Chamber Champion program is designed to capture those emerging leaders to enhance their leadership abilities while maintaining a focus on community development. We are grateful for the partnership with the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development for the resources they provide, such as the YLIA curriculum. Last year, was the first year we implemented the YLIA curriculum and saw great success. It’s exciting to see our future leaders develop and grow through this program.”
The 2017-2018 Chamber Champion cohort includes: Anslee Barnes,    Southland Academy; Cameron Carter; Americus-Sumter High; Asia Cladd, ASHS; Scout Davis    Southland;  Shamya Evans-Hicks, ASHS; Tameya Evans-Hicks, ASHS; Colby Felton; ASHS; Emily Fort, Southland ; Lorena Gary, ASHS; Laney Griffin, Southland; Lauryn Griffin, Southland; Kara Hubba, Southland; Janell Mills. ASHS; KaLiyah Morgan, ASHS: Deepa Patel, Southland; Priyal Patel, Southland; Sydney Payne, Southland; Bentlee Roberson, ASHS; Gabe Roland, Southland; Arianna Stokes, ASHS; Chandler Studdard, Southland; David Sumlin, ASHS; George Wall, Southland; Jordan Walters, ASHS; and Macy Williams, Southland.
To ensure a successful program and implementation of the curriculum, a group of volunteers were certified as facilitators by the J.W. Fanning Institute of Leadership Development. Along with several volunteer facilitators, the program boasts two new program coordinators, Lynn Reckart of Georgia Power Company, and Qaijuan Willis of City of Americus Main Street.
Farr said, “We have a great group of community members who have volunteered their time to facilitate these sessions. By working with students to make the connection between leadership and community, we are investing in our future workforce.”
Session sponsors include Georgia Southwestern State University, Georgia Power, PharmaCentra, LLC, Concentra Solutions, South Georgia Technical College, and Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.
For more information about the Chamber Champions, contact Ivy Oliver at 229-924-2646 or ioliver@sumtercountychamber.com.