Youth LHC adapts for graduation program
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]
To start the graduation program for the Youth Leadership Harrison County, Nathan Broom, executive director of LHC, talked about the participants wearing their dress shirt and blouses and pajama bottoms.
While not your typical graduation attire, the April 19 ceremony was slightly abnormal, too. This one, for the second year of the revitalized youth program, was conducted via Zoom, a video conferencing app, due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has created the need for social distancing.
Twenty-four students from Harrison County’s four high schools participated in the program that was brought back by the 2018 adult LHC class.
“Improvise, adapt and overcome,” Matt Schickel, who was in that adult LHC class and now chairs the youth program, said to the graduation attendees. “No matter what you plan for, you never know what will happen.”
Schickel said during the past seven months participants learned about servant leadership and public speaking, among other things.
“I encourage you to step up and be a servant leader,” he told them.
The students were put into groups, which earned points throughout the school year, and picked a non-profit organization to work with.
Hungry Hungry Hippos chose the Boys & Girls Club of Harrison-Crawford Counties. Members said they learned that the club in Corydon is more than a daycare and offers programming. Besides providing self-motivation and encouragement to the kids at the club, they created a temporary wall to encompass kindness.
Students in this group were Clay Thomas from South Central, Arianna Black from North Harrison and Luis Martinez, Emily Armstrong and Trystan Schreck, all from Corydon Central.
GREFH’s members Carson Radcliff and Violet Fitzgerald, both from North Harrison, Erin Hayse from Lanesville and Emma Goss and Grace Erwin, both from Corydon Central, volunteered at Ann’s Angels of Hope in Ramsey, where they helped organize donated clothes. They said Ann’s Angels of Hope has served students in 20 different schools in a four-county area.
One group member said the organization does a “great service to the community.”
The Lanesville Jaycees was chosen by the JARDS group, which consisted of Jack Burks from North Harrison, Emma Meeks from South Central, Kaidyn Hall from Lanesville and Jullian Wise and Karsyn Windell, both from Corydon Central. They assisted Jaycee members in shopping for The Salvation Army’s Christmas program. They also learned that the Jaycees participate in the Toys for Tots, Lanesville Heritage Weekend and other community events.
The Licorice group selected Hayswood Theatre in Corydon, where some of the members helped during the theatre’s production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by checking in attendees, making popcorn, serving drinks and cleaning the theatre after the show. Group members were Camden Marshall and Kawehilani Leffler, both from Corydon Central, Ashlynn Larimore from North Harrison and Lindsey Hayse from Lanesville.
The fifth group had no way of knowing their selected name would be apropos to graduation. Members of Team Zoomers were Coby Young and Olivia Ground, both from Corydon Central, Kamri Stewart from South Central, Sophia Stuffle from North Harrison and Marianne Brown from Lanesville. Most of them volunteered at Harrison County Community Services in Corydon, while one member spent a day at South Central Community Center in Elizabeth.
Members said they learned about compassion and flexibility and how people often don’t know what others are going through. One person in the group said she didn’t know there were so many options for volunteering in the community.
About those points the groups earned throughout the program year and from their graduation presentations, Team Zoomers won for Best Presentation while GREFH was named the overall winner.
Broom said funds originally dedicated for a “nice meal” at graduation were used to buy each participant a hoodie with a design created for the class.
“This was a delightful group to work with,” Broom said. “I wish I could have seen each of you in person and shook your hand.”
Instead, he called them by name in recognition of completing the program.
“Your turn at the wheel is coming quicker than you may think,” Broom told them. “Build on that foundation you got (from the program). Be the kind of leader you’d like to be.”
The graduation ceremony also included a video put together by Digital Now IT owners Taylor Johnson, a LHC graduate, and Tyler Best.
“They put a lot of time into making this,” Broom said.
Broom also thanked the participants’ parents and school administrators as well as the programs’ sponsors, Corydon Rotary Club, First Harrison Bank, Walmart, Harrison County Economic Development Corp., the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County and, the meal sponsor throughout the school year, Harrison Springs Health Campus in Corydon.
Applications for both the youth and adult programs will be available online at www.LeadershipHarrisonCountyIndiana.org.
For more information about LHC, call Broom at 812-572-1932 or send an email to [email protected].