Nine area seniors representing Bradley Central, Cleveland and Walker Valley high schools graduated from the 19th Youth Leadership class of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce in a ceremony at Peerless Road Church.
“This is an outstanding group of young men and women that I am confident will be successful in the future, and are the promising future leaders of our community, our state and our country,” Sherry Crye, Youth Leadership coordinator and recently retired director of workforce development for the chamber, said during the graduation ceremony. “Great leadership usually starts with a willing heart, a positive attitude and a desire to make a difference.”
Jason McCowan, former head basketball coach at Cleveland High School and current leadership development advisor for Capturing Kids’ Hearts, also shared an inspirational message during the graduation titled “Leave A Legacy or Live One.” He told the graduates that “leadership is simple, it’s just not easy,” and encouraged the students to always work hard and be kind.
The 2020-21 Youth Leadership class was limited to seniors due to safety protocols in place during the pandemic. This small group spent the past nine months learning about city, county and state government, community services, infrastructure, healthcare and manufacturing while also learning team building and leadership principles.
The group also participated in community service projects, raising $2,155.34 for Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland’s construction fund and donating nonperishable food items to the Caring Place.
Graduates of the 2020-21 Youth Leadership class are:
Kelsey Carman and Cole Haney, Bradley Central High School
Brayden Conn, Truman Hale and Jackson Ritzhaupt, Cleveland High School
Melody McRee, Connor Solsbee, Sidney Starr and Jia Weathersby, Walker Valley High School
Youth Leadership is a workforce development program of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce.