Two Daleville students honored at DCYL banquet
BY Jan Murray firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dale County Youth Leadership Program was established to instill in students a desire to become leaders in their communities and government. The program’s leaders held its annual graduation banquet May 3 in Ozark.Fourteen students from school systems located in Dale County were graduated from the 2015-2016 program, including Lucy Jones and Kenyetta Stephens.The DCYLP is a county-wide leadership program for high school juniors designed to expose young leaders to the various aspects of the Dale County community and to enhance the future growth and prosperity of the community; to increase awareness of community issues, problems, opportunities and successes; and to allow participants to nurture their ideas and talents as future leaders, according to its Facebook page. The organization sets its mission “to instill in today's students a desire to become involved in their communities and government.”Each year, two juniors are selected from each high school in the county—Carroll High School in Ozark; Dale County High School in Midland City; G.W. Long High School in Skipperville; Ariton High School; and Daleville High School.These students are selected by an application and interview process which has already begun for the upcoming 2016-2017 leadership class.Dr. Christopher Shannon, associate director for the Institute for Leadership Development at Troy University, spoke to the graduates, family, friends and DCYLP volunteers at the banquet.He told the students that “thank you” are two of the most underused words in the English language and reminded them to thank those who help them that expose them to opportunities in life and help lead them to succeed.Shannon said real leaders must be prepared by practicing how to be effective with the information and skills they learn. “To be effective in what you do, you must prepare, to practice, to lead…Do not take what you have learned this year and not go out and execute it, utilize it…I’m still working on it everyday trying to get better at what I do. That’s what you need to do as well…So, to craft your leadership skills, go out and practice it.”The Air Force veteran also told the graduates to “think outside the box” but know “what’s in the box” first. “The key is to humble yourself, even as a leader, to learn some things,” realizing that others may know more and have much to teach them as leaders.Sponsors for the outgoing class were Gilland Chevrolet GMC; Pea River Electric Cooperative; Alabama Power; the Ozark Rotary Club; David Emery; Judge Kimberly Clark; District Attorney Kirke Adams; Commercial Bank; James and Roberta Hyers; Dale County Schools; Ozark City Schools; Daleville City Schools; and the Ozark Area Chamber of Commerce.Volunteers for the organization include Fred Steagall, Vann Bradshaw, Bill Filmore, Jeremy Varney, Drew Swain, Vantney Alums, Laura Thornton, Diane Murphy, Athena Metcalf, Katie Thomas and Rosmarie Williamson.For more information on the program, visit the website at dcylp.org.