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Junior Leadership Kershaw County accepting applications

Posted: February 18, 2014 4:51 p.m.
Updated: February 19, 2014 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center is accepting applications for the 2014-15 Junior Leadership Kershaw County class for rising juniors and seniors who attend a Kershaw County high school.

Careers/Education Economic Development Coordinator for the Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC) Ed Garrison explained that the Junior Leadership program has been in existence for 26 years in an effort to “develop leaders for life outside and life after high school.” Garrison said the program provides various opportunities throughout the school year to grow student leadership qualities.

Students interested in being a part of next year’s class must be a junior or senior at one of the county’s high schools during the current school year and complete an application by Mar. 28. Completed applications must be turned in to the high school which the student attends. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Each high school reviews its submitted applications and a school selection committee selects representatives based on factors such as leadership, ability, creativity, initiative, dependability, character, involvement in activities and good academic performance. Garrison said that the selection process is “very competitive” and that there is a certain allotment of spaces for students from each school based upon the size of the school.

 Students selected for the 2014-15 Junior Leadership class will be announced in May and will attend an orientation session with their parents before the end of the school year to review next year’s schedule and expectations. Students chosen to participate will be required to pay a $50 tuition to help cover costs such as travel, meals and supplies. The tuition will be non-refundable after July 1. Tuition scholarships are available based on need.

The 2014-15 Junior Leadership class will be composed of 32 juniors and seniors representing Camden, Lugoff-Elgin and North Central high schools, and Camden Military Academy (CMA).

Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Superintendant Dr. Frank Morgan described Junior Leadership as “a very unique partnership between a school district and a local chamber.” He stated that the program is “beneficial because it exposes the young people to experiences that take them out of their comfort zone and make them think about difficult issues, issues that they will face time and again over the course of the year.”

Morgan also praised the program for building “relationships that will last a lifetime,” and he said he always hears the students discussing “the awards ceremony at the end of the year.”

The program begins its 27th year in August. It is an education partnership of the chamber, KCSD and CMA. For additional information, call Garrison at 424-2860.

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