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Effingham County's Moss named top youth leader
April Moss
Effingham County’s April Moss was honored for making a significant impact on her school, communities and beyond. - photo by photo submitted
April Moss

ATLANTA — 21st Century Leaders, a Georgia-based non-profit youth leadership and talent development program for high school students from diverse backgrounds across the state, recently announced the top 21 youth leaders selected for its annual signature event, Georgia Youth Leadership Awards, presented by WarnerMedia, conducted at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta. Effingham County's April Moss is one of them.

21st Century Leaders (21CL), in partnership with the event’s corporate sponsors and partners, brings together business and civic leaders to raise support for 21st Century Leaders’ year-round leadership programs while also recognizing 21 outstanding high school students throughout Georgia who have made a significant impact on their schools, communities and beyond.

21CL serves more than 1,000 students annually and this year’s 21 awardees — all in high school and all members of 21st Century Leaders — include non-profit founders, educators, content creators, researchers, and community advocates who truly represent the diversity of Georgia with students from DeKalb to Effingham to Columbia counties. The nominated students exhibit 21CL’s leadership qualities of being service-oriented, forward thinking, resourceful, passionate and of leveraging diversity. The 21 awardees were carefully chosen by a 23-member selection committee of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 members, 21CL Board of Directors, 21CL corporate volunteers, and 21CL alumni and student peers. The full selection committee is listed below and on its website.

Through corporate sponsors’ support, each youth leader was presented with a $500 grant, with one student awarded the WarnerMedia Student Leadership Award – the event’s top award which includes a $1,000 grant from the presenting sponsor, WarnerMedia. Students are also paired with GYLA coaches who mentor the students throughout the event season. GYLA coaches are members of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 alumni, maintaining a partnership established with the group in 2008 when 21st Century Leaders first launched this event. GYLA winners and coaches met at a private virtual Meet + Greet reception on Thursday, Feb. 10.

This year’s was led by GYLA Co-Chairs and 21CL Board of Directors members Okema Jackson of WarnerMedia and Maria Flores Blackburn of Southern Company, also a 21CL Alumna. For more information about the Georgia Youth Leadership Awards, visit All proceeds from the event will support 21CL’s ongoing efforts to provide youth leadership and talent development programs for high school students across Georgia at little to no cost to students.

GYLA Selection Committee

All nominations were reviewed by a 23-member GYLA Selection Committee, comprised of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under 40 members, 21CL Board of Directors, 21CL corporate volunteers, and 21CL alumni and student peers. Committee members included Monique Bell, Bobby Dodd Institute*; Stacey Betz, Mercer; Susannah Darrow, Purpose Possible*; Chandra Farley, ReSolve*; David Felfoldi, SHERPA Global*; Dr. Shaneeta Johnson, Morehouse School of Medicine*; Jesse Lindsley, Thrust Interactive*; Ying McPherson, Unifi*; Amanda Mewborn, Navicent Health*; David Minnix, CineMassive Displays*; Dr. Adriane Randolph, BrainLab, Department of Information Systems, Coles College of Business, KSU*; Shawana Rapp, SHRM-ATL; Dr. Alicia Shelly, Wellstar Health Systems*; Mari Sifo, SWM International*; Antrell Tyson, WorkSource Atlanta*; Stephen Vault, Wellstar*; Rachel Weitz, Delta*; Ryan Woods, Beck Architecture*; Stephen Smith, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency*; Marty Fleischmann, Response Media, 21CL Board of Directors*; Shelton Guinn, MarketSource, 21CL Board of Directors; Tomi Oladeji and Sabrina Zhu, 21CL members and 2021 GYLA student recipients.