Future leaders of Dawson County recently graduated from a nine-month program hosted by the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Dawson County Board of Education.
The Youth Leadership Dawson Class of 2017 led 18 sophomores and juniors from Dawson County High School through a variety of leadership skills training, as well as visiting portions of the community not seen every day.
The students also learned about industries and careers available to them in Dawson County.
The Youth Leadership Dawson program was launched as a class project of the Leadership Dawson Class of 2016.
"Youth Leadership Dawson was a joint venture between the Dawson County School District and the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce that focused on providing students with a wide array of leadership experiences," said Dr. Damon Gibbs, Dawson County School superintendent and Leadership Dawson 2016 class member.
Students were nominated for the program by their teachers and then interviewed and selected by a panel of business and community leaders.
Each session was led by different members of the Leadership Dawson Class who were trained by the JW Fanning Institute through the University of Georgia.
The Youth Leadership students got to see local and state government in action as well as learn about manufacturing, banking and medical industries in Dawson County.
The students also enjoyed a fine-dining meal at Amicalola Falls Lodge where they were taught proper dining etiquette. The students also had team building and leadership exercises to complete in each session.
The students were recognized at the May board of education meeting as the inaugural graduating class.
"We are very proud of our inaugural class," Gibbs said. "We look forward to seeing many more students grow from this opportunity in the future."
The Youth Leadership Dawson Class of 2016-2017 was made up of: Levi Baggett, Alexis Bagley, Kati Brady, Emma Brown, Abi Chatham, Cassy Dickey, Kristen Graves, Alyssa Habermann, Marley Hamby, Jake Moore, Kane Pelfrey, Garrett Perez, Karson Pharris, Michael Pippin, Dennis Pyetsukh, Cullen Reed, Maggie Rimawi and Carter Whaley.