Chamber Youth Leadership Class Of 2020 Inspires Future Leaders To "Dream And Do"

The 19th year of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership program kicked off with twenty-four young people attending a daylong leadership retreat before the start of their academic school year. The students, selected in an application process, represent Bradley Central, Cleveland and Walker Valley High Schools and Tennessee Christian Preparatory School. 

The Youth Leadership program encompasses eight months and gives the students opportunities to learn about the local economy, heritage and tourism, city and county government and services, and health and human services. They also experience a day in Nashville to learn about state government. 

“It is always exciting to meet the new students and see the possibilities they have as our future leaders,” Sherry Crye, youth leadership coordinator, said about the 2019-20 class. “This program will open their eyes to where their future could be and how they can lead.”

Following a presentation by Gina Allison entitled, “Great Leaders Are…,” the students were involved in activities that focused on getting to know each other, team building, critical thinking, creativity and competition. The young leaders also reviewed different leadership qualities discussed in Ed Gerety’s book "Combinations -Opening the Door to Student Leadership," which was required reading prior to the retreat. The students enjoyed competing in a Jeopardy game with the “answers” relating to the book, facts about Cleveland and current trivia. 

The 2019-20 Youth Leadership class will participate in a service project for Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland that will include a challenge for each school to raise funds for the local organization and an investment of “sweat equity” by working on a Habitat house or in the Habitat ReStore. 

Members of 2019-20 Youth Leadership class from Bradley Central High School are Ashtyn Cross, Maggie Fox, Addason Harris, Erica Yates and Angel Zuniga. Representing Cleveland High School are Lily Bradney, Tiffany Harricharran, Ethan Herndon, Sara McKay, Tate O’Bryan and Savannah Pitts. Representing Tennessee Christian Preparatory School are Sean Buckner and Noah Fowler. Youth leaders from Walker Valley High School are Ashlynn Akiona, Taylor Cannon, Ryleigh Green, Liz Hooker, Madison Jaynes, Tre Morris, Michael Moultrie, Bailey Nelson, Megan Salazar, Charlie Swafford and Zachary Wisti.