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Junior Leadership Kershaw County 2017-18 underway

Posted: September 4, 2017 9:52 a.m.
Updated: September 5, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Jacob Whisenhunt of Lugoff-Elgin, Kristen Randolph and Haleigh Scott of Camden, and Sarah Turner of Lugoff-Elgin team up to practice their skills.

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   Junior Leadership Kershaw County kicked off its 30th year, Aug. 25-26, with a two-day retreat for the 2017-18 class that included conquering a high ropes course.

   Thirty 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 more than 900 students have completed the program.

   “Junior Leadership is one of the most popular programs we sponsor,” Chamber Executive Director Amy Kinard said. “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. 25 students participated in a group dynamics session led by Jen Hunsicker of Columbia College’s Leadership Institute.

   Students were challenged to practice their leadership skills on Aug. 26 during their day-long participation on a low and high ropes course at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte.

   “Tackling the ropes course obstacles puts the students to the test both as individuals and as a team,”  Laurie Parks, Junior Leadership Steering Committee Chair said. “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: Sophia Altieri, Angel Cooke, Sarah Heming, Sanders Inabinet, Abby Irick, Emily Kendall, Kristen Randolph, Haleigh Scott and Leah Stokes

• Camden Military Academy: Daylen Clark, Leo Eckhardt, Kurosh Badii, Nick Martin and Yohann Ofrredo

• Lugoff-Elgin High School: Mackenzie Calcutt, Katie Clippard, Kylan Corbett, Lindsay McRoy, Kaleigh Mullis, Emma North, Dalton Reeves, Sarah Turner and Jacob Whisenhunt

• North Central High School: Olivia Arrington, Tristen Bodiford, Sarah Grace DuRant, Laken Gross, Joanna Norwood, Abby Outlaw and Kali Tomlin


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