Franklin County Junior Leaders graduate from program

The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce held the 20th annual Junior Leadership graduation ceremony Sunday afternoon at the A.W. Todd Centre in downtown Russellville. 

“Over the past 10 months, the 48 students in the program have provided 4,200 hours of community service helping with events across the county,” explained Cassie Medley, executive director for the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. She said if calculated at minimum wage, that represents $30,500 of help to the county. 

“Over the 20 years of the program, we’ve had 1,000 Junior Leaders, and together they’ve served 50,000 hours, making an economic impact of more than $350,000 in our county,” Medley added.

She explained that to graduate from the Junior Leadership program, each member must serve at least 50 community service hours, work six out of 12 events, submit a scholarship resume and write an essay.

Medley said the program helps young people learn to be leaders while serving their community and making connections. 

For Phil Campbell High School Student Brayden Wilson, the program is something he considers a benefit. “It has changed me and made me a better person by giving me the opportunity to learn, lead and serve my community,” he said.

Russellville High School student Emma Campbell said the program had changed her outlook on the community “by showing how everyone supports one another.” 

“Junior Leadership ended with me having new friendships and better social skills with strangers,” said Tharptown High School student Abigail Strickland. 

Red Bay High School student Noah Hester said he feels more prepared for his future as well as “a lot more selfless and better at taking initiative.”

“Each Junior Leader has met the requirements to graduate,” Medley continued, noting a few were unable to attend the ceremony because of other commitments. “Out of this class, 17 served 100 hours or more, and one served more than 200 hours. Those completing 100 or more service hours will receive, in addition to their diploma, a medal and certificate form the Presidential Service Awards.”

This year’s Franklin County Junior Leadership Program graduates include Maggie Bishop, Kenzlee Bohannon, Harleigh Borden, Brayden Wilson, Ebony West, Emma Campbell, Jackson Clark, Macey Welborn, Avery Watts, Addison Compton, Gabriela Diego, Justin Wade, Maggie Uptain, Regina Domingo, Mahaeida Figueroa, Sofia Tiffin, Journey Swan, Soraya Fonseca, Ella Green, Addie Strickland, Abigail Strickland, Halle Grimes, Madie Harris, Kaitlin Speck, Chloe Sheffield, Ruben Hernandez, Mason Herring, Clara Serafin Romero, Madison Quals, Noah Hester, Ashlyn James, Aaliyah Prince, Nicklaus Pounders, Sarah Kate Kiel, Tori Mather, Peyton Parrish, Lexie O’Neal, Patience Mays, Landon McClellan, Caitlyn Oliver, Shelby Nichols, Abigail McFall, Kristian McClaughn, Natalie Nichols, Will Morgan, Desiree Medina, Raegen Misner and Jacey Moore. 

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