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22 graduate from Chamber Junior Leadership group

The Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce recently graduated 22 students from its Junior Leadership Program and recognized its Leadership Award recipient at a recent graduation ceremony.

Graduates from Lafayette High School include Elaina Dickerson, Lakynn Hillhouse, Tate Howard, Core Lawrence, Hogan Linzy, Halle Moore, La’Kyjah Shaw, Sarah Beth Tidwell, Kaitlyn Traylor and Emma Wilson.

Graduates from Oxford High School include Grace Dyer, Andrew Gardner, Jimmy Green, Mary Clark Hayward, Anna Blake Lively, Aubrey Merrell, Addison Mills, Matt Redfearn, Anna Renfroe, Drew Tacke, Sarah Katherine Waller and Carlisle Yoste. 

The Junior Leadership Program combines group study sessions with a community project that requires the use and development of leadership skills. Students participated in training sessions geared toward promoting team building, goal setting, community awareness, volunteerism and communication skills.

“We had such a great group of young adults in this year’s class,” said Pam Swain, senior vice president of the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce. “Through the program, they have been able to see some facets of the community they may not normally come in contact with, and we feel they can walk away from the program more enriched about what goes on in the Oxford-Lafayette County area.”

At the end of the eight-session program, the class selects a Leadership Award recipient from among their fellow classmates.

It is awarded to a program participant who has shown great leadership skills throughout the course of this program, as well as excellent community service. Voted the recipient by her peers, this year’s Leadership Award recipient was Grace Dyer of Oxford High School.

Dyer is the 16-year-old daughter of Frank and Allyson Dyer. She is in the Beta Club, Spanish Club, Anchor Club, Beyond Our Walls Club, the Mentor Program and Mock Trial, where she was a finalist in competition. She won second place in the 2015 Science Fair and is a computer applications top student. Dyer is also on the swim team, participates in Young Life, and volunteers weekly with More than a Meal. She would like to attend college somewhere in the South, although she is not quite sure where yet. 

Volunteer focus

This year’s participants also  were required to volunteer their time throughout the program. The volunteer hours required extra time by the students and gave them the opportunity to use and develop the leadership skills they learned.  Throughout the course of the program, each participant was required to complete a minimum of eight volunteer hours on a community service assignment. They volunteered their time with Lafayette County Literacy Council, Lovepacks and assisted in the coordination of a blood drive.

“We are so pleased with the outcome of this year’s class and the contributions they have made to our community through their volunteer time,” said Lolita Gregory, Junior Leadership program chair. “Their presentations at graduation were well prepared and insightful, showing us all just how much they learned from their time in the program.”

The program started in 1998 and has successfully graduated nearly 500 participants.

For more information about Junior Leadership or about the Chamber, call 662-234-4651 or visit www.oxfordms.com.