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CLA students meet local legislators
12.18 CLA
Members of the Christian Leadership Academy met with state Reps. Jon Burns and Ann Purcell. - photo by Photo provided

The students of the Christian Leadership Academy from the Effingham YMCA met with local state legislators Rep. Jon Burns and Rep. Ann Purcell at a special meeting on at the Effingham County Administrative Complex in Springfield.  

Rep. Burns and Rep. Purcell both represent Effingham County in the General Assembly in Atlanta and graciously met with the students of the CLA to share with them a little about their lives and their work.

Rep. Purcell told the students about the importance of sticking to your values and your beliefs as you seek to lead and serve the people whom you represent. She emphasized that involvement in public service is never about a “me” but rather a “we” in working as a team to get things done that will benefit the community.

She encouraged the students to let their faith also be a guide to their decisions and to also be willing to listen to opposing views even when you do not agree.

Rep. Burns shared his background of being an Effingham farmer who became a legislator. He stressed to the students the importance of integrity and keeping your word when dealing with people.  

He emphasized the value of being honest with those you work with by sharing your point of view in the right way, whether you agree or disagree. He also shared the importance of service in leadership. Rep. Burns encouraged the students to be willing to listen as they lead.    
Both Rep. Burns and Rep. Purcell spoke of the day to day workings at the Capitol and the process of bringing about legislation and change that is good for the community and for the state of Georgia.

The students were led in a voting exercise, led by Dr. Nathalie Starling from South Effingham High School. They were shown the great privilege we have in having the right to vote and how this has not always been the case for so many people in the nation. The students were encouraged to be involved in their government and shown how they could play a very vital role.

The CLA students are planning a trip in January to the Effingham Day at the Capitol where they will get a first-hand look at the workings of their state government.

The CLA extended thanks to Rep. Burns, Rep. Purcell and Dr. Starling for their time and leadership. They also  offered special thanks to Dewayne Ladner and Dewitt Insurance for funding the meal for the evening and the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department and Effingham County Administrative Complex for security and the use of the building.   

For more information about the Christian Leadership Academy contact the Effingham YMCA at 826-2199.