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Junior leadership KC 2013-14 class begins year

Posted: September 10, 2013 3:36 p.m.
Updated: September 11, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Zach Boykin of Camden High School gets geared up for his time on the high ropes course. Junior Leadership students traveled to Camp Gravatt near Aiken to participate in team building exercises and the ropes course.

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Junior Leadership Kershaw County kicked off its 26th year Aug. 23-24 with a two-day retreat for the 2013-14 class that included conquering a high ropes course.

Twenty-eight juniors and seniors representing Camden, Lugoff-Elgin and North Central high schools as well as the Camden Military Academy participated in a variety of team-building and leadership development activities.

Junior Leadership Kershaw County is a partnership of the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, the Kershaw County School District and Camden Military Academy. Beneficiary support is provided by the Camden Kiwanis Club. The program began in 1988 and is one of the oldest continuously running high school leadership programs in the state. Since it began approximately 800 students have completed the program.

"Junior Leadership is one of the most popular programs we sponsor," says Liz Horton, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. "It is a unique venture and has really resonated with our schools, their students and the business community.

"Over the years it has been very successful developing student leaders and future leaders in our community. Some of the graduates have gone on to become doctors, attorneys, teachers, a state representative and even a pro football player."

During the year students will meet in monthly sessions to learn more about leadership, career opportunities, state government and cultural diversity. They will also participate in a community service project.

The two-day opening retreat is the foundation of the program where students learn about team-work and overcoming obstacles. On Aug. 23 students participated in Myers Briggs personality profile session led by Katherine Swartz of Columbia College’s Leadership Institute. They also heard from Lisa Brownlee, a leadership consultant out of the Aiken area, who led the students in an exercise about leadership values.

Students were challenged to practice their leadership skills during their day-long participation on a low and high ropes course at the Gravatt Camp and Conference Center near Aiken. Tackling the ropes course obstacles puts the students to the test both as individuals and as a team," says Laurie Parks, who chairs the Junior Leadership steering committee. "It is a long, grueling day, but in the end it is worth their sweat and toil. They enjoy it immensely."

The year ends in April with a graduation dinner and presentation of the Robert. J. Sheheen Outstanding Junior Leadership Student of the Year award.

Students apply for Junior Leadership in the spring of the school year and are chosen by their schools as representatives in the program.

This year’s class includes:

Camden High: Clarke Allen, Zach Boykin, Maddison Flowers, Austen Haney, Caroline Kelly, Shelby Kelly, Helen Koutroulakis, Haley Maree and Morgan Wilson

Camden Military Academy: Chris Chamberlain, Rob Kerrison, Nate Lusk and Noah Williams

Lugoff-Elgin High School: Helen Fakoury, Leyia Grant, Will Jones, Andrew Mills, Brittany Richardson, Connor Tully, McCrae Watson, Mary Ann White, Alivia Wiseman and Claire Yount

North Central High School: Kayla Bowers, Summer Catoe, Erin Humphries, Will Mathis and Madeline Pate


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