By Cinde Ingram
HIGH POINT — More than 20 teens graduated Tuesday from the YMCA of High Point and Business High Point-Chamber of Commerce’s pilot Teen Leadership High Point summer program.
The six-week program, modeled after the chamber’s 10-month adult Leadership High Point curriculum, brought together 26 teens ages 13-17 from throughout the city and gave them greater community exposure.
Starting with a scavenger hunt on June 25, the teens explored High Point University’s campus. Each week’s program afterward was based on a theme that introduced teens to multiple organizations and community leaders throughout High Point. The students were able to make connections with mentors in numerous fields of work such as manufacturing, art, production and film, news, emergency response and many more.
The inaugural Teen Leadership High Point class was treated to a graduation luncheon at the Hartley Drive YMCA. In addition to the teens, the luncheon and ceremony was attended by their parents, volunteers, representatives of several community organizations, City Council members and High Point Mayor Jay Wagner.
Guilford County Commissioner Carlvena Foster, executive director of the Carl Chavis YMCA and a candidate for High Point mayor, discussed the purpose of the teen program. Program Chairman Cyril Jefferson and the Rev. Frank Thomas also offered inspiring words. Teen Leadership High Point participants Glenwood Allen, Macaiah Nwabueze and Kyndahl Stubbs showed their skills by providing reflections or an invocation. Each teen was given a certificate of completion.
The teens and their parents were also treated to an evening of baseball with the High Point Rockers. HPU, Vann York and Bethany Medical Center provided suite tickets for the 6:30 pm game.
“It was a great inaugural year for the program, and organizers hope to continue every summer for years to come,” said YMCA CEO Lynn Lomax.
Discussing the success of Teen Leadership High Point, Lomax said he envisions it becoming bigger than simply a YMCA or chamber program.
“This should be a community program in order to maximize the impact we can have on young people,” Lomax said.