Chamber Recruits New Youth Leaders

Thursday, February 6, 2014
This year’s Youth Leadership class on their Local Economy day. Among other places, the students visited Don Ledford Automotive Center and learned about the impact of the dealerships on the local economy, along with what might have happened had they lost the franchises for good.
This year’s Youth Leadership class on their Local Economy day. Among other places, the students visited Don Ledford Automotive Center and learned about the impact of the dealerships on the local economy, along with what might have happened had they lost the franchises for good.

The Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce is currently recruiting members for the 13th Youth Leadership class.

The Youth Leadership program, which is similar to the Chamber’s adult Leadership Cleveland program, helps to build Cleveland/Bradley County leaders of the future by focusing on leadership skills, teamwork and knowledge of the community today. Topics throughout the nine-month program include Local Economy, Health and Social Services, State Government, City and County Government and Services, and Heritage and Tourism presented through discussions, tours, on-site visitations, and informal question-and-answer sessions. Students are also required to participate in a daylong retreat to build relationships and leadership skills.  

“We really enjoy working with the students in this program each year,” Sherry Crye, Youth Leadership coordinator, said. “After completing 12 years of the program, we have witnessed first-hand what great future leaders we will have. And we look forward to meeting and forming those relationships with the next class.”

According to Ms. Crye, the guidance departments of Bradley Central, Cleveland and Walker Valley High Schools and Tennessee Christian Preparatory School have received the applications and are available for students to pick up after Thursday. Students who will be rising juniors and seniors for the 2014-15 school year are eligible to apply for the program. 

“Students must submit applications to their respective school guidance counselors by Feb. 24 to be considered for the leadership class,” Ms. Crye stressed. 

A selection committee comprised of Leadership Cleveland alumni will review applications and select a combination of eight juniors and seniors from each high school and two students from Tennessee Christian Preparatory School, making a total of 26 students in the program.  

“The goal of the nine-month program is to acquaint students with these aspects of the community and to increase their awareness of leadership roles that are available to students now and in the future,” Bernadette Douglas, coordinator of the Chamber’s adult leadership program, said. 

Ms. Douglas continued, “The better we educate our students about the facets of life that make Cleveland and Bradley County strong, the better they will be prepared to become our future community leaders.”

Part of that leadership preparation comes from developing relationships with others, which is also a focal point of the daylong retreat and the sessions that follow, Ms. Crye explained.

The 2014-15 Youth Leadership class will run from August 2014 through April 2015. 

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