Last week, over 250 juniors and seniors from 27 different high schools in the 14th District gathered in Calhoun at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. The purpose: to learn leadership skills, hear from business and community leaders, and to expand their network as they graduate and go to college or enter the workforce.
Those leaders included Floyd County Sherriff’s Deputy Carrie Edge,Co-founder of ADDO worldwide Kevin Paul Scott, Commissioner of Georgia Department of Community Affairs Camila Knowles, and Instructor of Management at Kennesaw State University Dr. Alvin Miles:
“You are here today because someone, somewhere saw something special and different in you,” said Rep. Graves. “And knowing that each of you was created for a unique purpose to impact lives in a positive way, our goal is to equip and inspire you to maximize that purpose now and not wait – because you are not just the leaders of tomorrow, you are leaders today.”
Similarly, Kevin Paul Scott declared during his presentation, “When we’re looking for leaders, we’re looking at you.”
Floyd County Sherriff’s Deputy Carrie Edge spoke on how to become the “Best You Yet.” She stated, “ In order to lead, you must choose to live by choice and not by chance, realize your full potential and seek to fully apply yourself in every decision you make, while maintaining laser focus on your, ‘Why?.’”
Dr. Alvin Miles gave countless examples of how everyone should leverage their unique background to guide their future. He shared that when he was growing up he had to be reminded to speak softer because his voice carried. But then he realized that his voice carrying was an advantage he had over others and encouraged students to remember that “as leaders in your community, your voice carries and you have unfair advantages over others.”
“Just by being here today, you are one step ahead of others and you should use your advantages to make a positive difference in the world,” Dr. Miles added.
Students engaged online via Twitter and other social media using the hashtag #GA14YLS, and there was plenty of positive feedback from the summit. Also, Congressman Graves did take a selfie with some of the students:
— Tom Graves (@RepTomGraves) September 22, 2015
This is the second year Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-14) has conducted a Youth Leadership Summit in the 14th. It looks to be a great program that’s engaging students in not only the civic process, but encouraging students to continue to be leaders in their schools and their communities.