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Christian Leadership Academy finishes its year
close up group pic
The YMCA Christian Leadership Academy graduated another class Monday night, with 12 rising high school juniors and seniors taking part in the seven-month course. - photo by Photo provided

Another season of the YMCA Christian Leadership Academy was completed Monday at the annual spring banquet.

Guest speaker Georj Lewis, Armstrong Atlantic State University’s vice president for student affairs, recapped the Seven Keys to Godly Leadership the students learned throughout the year and applied them to personal stories.

The CLA, a seven-month program that began its current season in September 2013, is designed to take 12 rising high school sophomores and juniors from Effingham County public, private and home schools and train them in the skills of leadership done from a Christian perspective.

“This was our fifth year offering this program and we had high expectations for the nominees who followed the first four classes of the CLA program,” said Kim Dennis, director of the Effingham YMCA. “The young ladies and gentlemen we have been blessed to encounter so far show that the future is bright for Effingham County.”

The class of 2013-14 included Mallory Ambrose, Evan Fears, Robbie Garvin, Ben Grayson, Cheyenne Hawk, Allie Kieffer, D.J. Kirkland, John Ratchford, Logan Revell, Brooke Richardson, Annah Shearouse and Olin Way.

The purpose of the Christian Leadership Academy is to train today’s students to carry Christian leadership principles into the future world of family, education, church, government and business.

These select students met one evening a month, in various local locations, to discuss topics such as pursuing personal excellence, discovering their purpose in life, principles of Christian leadership in the home, being informed and involved in government leadership, impacting their community through the local church, personal financial responsibility and stewardship, and Christian professional ethics. The guest speakers for this season were Jason Pridgen, Randy Shearouse, Sam and Lori Sowers, Rep. Bill Hitchens, Lyle Wood, Talbert and Roni Edenfield, Joe Marchese and Lewis.

All participants received a free YMCA membership for one year (SeptemberAugust), award of excellence upon completion of the program, valuable experience that can be added to their personal resume, letters of recommendation for college applications and/or job applications, priceless lessons from community leaders on what real success and Christian leadership look like, and a sense of purpose and direction for their future.

The students also traveled to the state capitol to witness state leaders at work in the House of Representatives. They were personally toured by Rep. Bill Hitchens and Rep. Jon Burns and received a resolution that was read in their honor on the house floor.

To nominate a student for the class of 2014-15, nomination forms are available on the Y website  or at the Y welcome center.  Nominations should be submitted to the Effingham YMCA by Aug. 22. Students will be selected by the Effingham YMCA board of managers for this very unique opportunity.