“We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
April Aldridge, the Chamber's Youth Leadership Chairman as well as Decatur County School's Assistant Superintendent began her remarks at graduation with this quote. While the Chamber considers it it's mission to ensure the young people of Decatur County have ample opportunites awaiting them in here in the years to come, it also feels that it is equally responsible to prepare students for the future workforce. For the last 23 years, the Chamber has been investing in tomorrow's leaders, and this last year has been no different. Though faced with all the obstacles that covid-19 brings, the program continued in order to teach students leadership characteristics such as humility and servant leadership as well as soft skills such as effective communication, handling critisism, conflict management, and networking techniques.
On April 9th, the program held it's culminating event - the Amazing Shake Competition. Meant to test the students ability to think on their feet and use the professional skills they had learned over the last 6 months, the competiton sent the students through an obstacle course of 30 different professional scenarios. To make the event a success and true test of their knowledge, the Chamber asked 30 business professionals to run the scenarios and judge the students on their performance. The scenarios ranged from having to ask their boss for a raise, to acting as the superintendent of a school and mangaging a disgruntled parent.
The winner of the Amazing Shake Competiton, Ms. Taryn Powell, was announced at the class's graduation ceremony which was held at the Bainbridge Country Club on Sunday, April 11th. The program celebrated the 30 graduates through the awarding of certificates, personalized thank you cards, and a book provided by First Port City Bank, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.
For five years now, the program has been sponsored by First Port City Bank.
Nominations have recently closed for the 2022 class. Anyone seeking to nominate a sophomore or junior for the program is encouraged to contact the Chamber of Commerce for the 2023 class.