Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Youth Leadership Colleton meets at Colleton Memorial Library

Colleton Preparatory Academy Guidance Counselor Jill Burttram addresses audience.Photo by Rick Tobin.

An orientation meeting was held by the Youth Leadership Colleton organization at Colleton Memorial Library on September 25.

After a welcoming statement from Leadership Colleton Alumni Brian Hefner, the invocation was given by Colleton County Councilman Phillip Taylor. A moment of silence was then held in memory of Allie Murdaugh, who was a member of Youth Leadership Colleton while in high school.

The mission of Youth Leadership Colleton is to provide Colleton County High School and Colleton Preparatory Academy sophomores and juniors with leadership training in the areas of team building, judicial, health/medical, local culture, natural resources, education, human services, and local government.

The program began just over 10 years ago. When the program started, it was not associated with the South Carolina Clemson Extension Service, But former Clemson Extension service Projects Coordinator Lynette Fryar had a leading role in Youth Leadership Colleton program, as she still does today. Lynette, who is the director of the program, is now an administrative clerk at the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office. She said, “Thanks to Sheriff Malone, I was allowed to continue my role with the Colleton Youth Leadership program because he saw the program as being good for the youth of our county.”

Fryar told people attending the meeting that she has been associated with Youth Leadership Colleton for seven years. She added she suffered a stroke last year, “and I thank God I recovered.” She added, while she hopes that this will not be the last year she directs the program, she just needs to see what next year will bring. “Your children will become mine while they’re here in this program,” she said, adding that, if she doesn’t continue as director next year, she hopes that a good replacement will be found.

“This program encourages you to realize the importance of Family responsibility. It develops leadership skills. You are the cream of the crop, and I hold you to a different standard.” She also asked the students involved with the program respect one another.

Colleton County High School Principal Cliff Warren, also spoke at the meeting. “I can remember back when we were begging people to join Youth Leadership Colleton. Now the students are begging to get in,” he said.

Warren called the participation in Youth Leadership Colleton “a wonderful experience,” and urged the students who participate in the program to carry themselves well after leaving school. “I hope you enjoy the program and get a lot out of it,” he told the 33 students attending the meeting.

Colleton Preparatory Academy’s Head of School Jennifer Bratsafolis told parents and students that Youth Leadership Colleton is in place to allow students to become leaders within the community. “I hope that, after going to college, you come back to Colleton County. I love this place, and you should, too.” She added that, when students return here, they should give back to the community.

Senior Agent Bob Guinn of the Clemson Extension Service told students that, during the program, they will be introduced to the various government agencies and will also learn leadership skills and talk about leadership development and participate in a lot of interactive events. “I look forward to working with you,” Guinn concluded.

Both Colleton Preparatory Academy Guidance Counselor Jill Burttram and Colleton County High School Guidance Counselor Kathy Shider had students from both school stand up and introduce themselves and then introduce the parent or parents with them.

This year’s members consist of Aubre’ Brown, Kimberly Chamblin, Kristin Carter, Will Carter, Tia Chisolm, Timarah Chisolm, Tanner Crosby, Teagan Crosby, Chelsey Dewitt, Victoria Garris, Callie Griffin, Reagan Herndon, Jamie Hiott, Brittany Jones, Tyler Langdale, Taylor Long, Syeda Madiha, Taylor Marsh, Chelsi Mescia, Megan Mitchell, Samantha Murdaugh, Julia Petrolawicz, Haley Pye, Alex Sanders, Kaci Sapp, Tara Shider, William Smyly, Madison Stieglitz, Charese Taylor, Brianna Tyler, Megan Walling, Molly Warren, and Lindsey Williams.

Future meetings are scheduled, as follows:

October 18, Judicial Day; November 15, Health and Medical Day; December 6, Cultural Day; January 24 (2013), Local Government Day; February (7, 14, or 21) TBA State Government; March 28, Natural Resources Day; April 11, Education Day; May 9, Human Services and Wrap-up; and May 20 or 21, Graduation.