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Chamber Jr. Leadership Graduates 30, Recognizes Lydia Holland for Leadership Award

Leadership award
From left, Lolita Gregory, Junior Leadership program Chair; Lydia Holland , 2015 Leadership Award Recipient; and Kate Rosson, Chamber Chairwoman of the Board.

The Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce recently graduated 30 students from its Junior Leadership Program and recognized its Leadership Award Recipient at a graduation ceremony held on April 13. This year’s Junior Leadership program was sponsored by Your Extra Closet.

Graduates from Lafayette High School include: Ty Benson, Anna Bruno, Gabby Dunn, Emma Humphreys, Zach Pugh and Ayo Williams.

Graduates from Oxford High School include: Grace Alford, Sara Caroline Bridgers, Trepp Bruton, AJ Buchanan, Ansley Byars, Battle Crews, Caroline Crews, Anna Dennis, Swayze Elliott, Will Farmer, Shelby Goza, Mary Lauren Green, Quinn Harris, William Hawkins, Madeline Henderson, Jessica Hill, Ellie Hinton, Lydia Holland, Ansley Howell, Eric Maddigan, Miyah Mayes, Eli Moen, Virginia Parkinson and Mia Sinha.

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,” Pam Swain, Vice President of the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce said. “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,” Swain added.

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 his peers, this year’s Leadership Award recipient was Lydia Holland of Oxford High School.

Holland is the 16 year old daughter of Angela Cohran, and Tony Holland, Sr. She was nominated for the National Academy of Future Physicians and Awarded the Medical Scientist Award of Excellence in 2013 and 2014. She is also a member of the Art Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a Diamond Girl. In her spare time she volunteers at Southern Care Hospice. She would like to attend Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, become a pediatrician, and have her own medical practice someday.

This year’s participants were also 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 8 volunteer hours on their community service assignments. They volunteered for a blood drive with Mississippi Blood Services, worked with families at More than a Meal and also worked with clients at North Mississippi Regional Center.

“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. Their presentations at graduation were well prepared and insightful, showing us all just how much they learned from their time in the program,” said Lolita Gregory, Junior Leadership program chair.

The program started in 1998 and has successfully graduated nearly 480 participants.

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

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