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Brother, sister hoping to attend national forums

By By Steve Gillespie/staff writer
Jan. 17, 2002
Heather George of Meridian has wanted to be a lawyer since she was 7 years old.
A nominee to the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law, the 16-year-old has a unique opportunity to learn more about her field of interest. But with money tight at home, she is looking for help in funding her trip.
Heather's mother, Janet Sue Browning Sneed, has set up an account in her daughter's name at Community Bank so she can attend the forum March 5-10 in Washington. Heather's grandfather has contributed $1,150 and former U.S. Rep. G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery has contributed $150.
Registration for the forum requires a $1,200 fee, which will cover breakfast, lodging and travel to forum events. But travel to Washington, other meals and spending money are not covered in the expenses.
Heather is hoping to raise about $1,000 so she and her mother can go.
Heather, who is interested in becoming a defense lawyer, said she thinks the forum will definitely help her make up her mind about a career in law.
Janet and her husband, John, are between jobs now.
John was laid off from his job at Moldwood Products in York, Ala., six months ago. He worked in computer programming at the industry, which makes furniture and wooden spools for paper rolls.
Janet worked at Atlas Roofing Co. in Meridian for four years as a human resources assistant. Now she is home taking care of their youngest child who was born in August.
Since the bank account was set up for Heather, her brother, Max, 14, was nominated to attend a National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine.
Both Heather and Max are ninth-graders in the "catch-up program" at Bonita Education Center, the Lauderdale County School District's alternative school. The program helps students who have fallen behind to get caught up in their studies.
Both were nominated for the forums by Reuben Little, social studies teacher for grades eight through 12 at the school. Little said both Heather and Max are pleasant, positive, young people.
Based on the concern for government Heather showed in his class, Little thinks she might be someone who will one day become involved with politics or choose a career in government.
Max has been interested in forensics for a couple of years.
The National Youth Leadership Forum is a nonprofit, educational organization that offers career-oriented forums for young people who have expressed interests in law, medicine, defense, intelligence or diplomacy.
For more information about the forums, visit the National Youth Leadership Forum Web Site at