Life Lessons Taught During Youth Leadership Clarksdale
CLARKSDALE – Sophomores and juniors from Clarksdale-area high schools learned some life lessons Wednesday during a Youth Leadership Clarksdale (YLC) session held at Coahoma Community College (CCC).
Organized by the Clarksdale Chamber of Commerce, YLC works with students to develop leadership skills and help instill community pride through community service.
“We target the whole person. We teach them about the community, social issues, arts and culture, government and business development,” said YLC Director Tana Vassel.
The students were from Coahoma Agricultural High School, Coahoma County High School, Lee Academy and Clarksdale High School. They meet monthly and are apart of the program for one year, Vassel said.
CCC’s Director of Library Services Yvonne Stanford coordinated February’s session held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in The Gallery on CCC’s campus.
“This particular session was designed to hopefully teach students how to get along with others and how to deal with social issues that confront today’s youth,” said Stanford.
The session began with breakfast and welcomes from Anne Clark, CCC’s vice president of Career and Technical Education Division, and President Dr. Valmadge Towner.
Towner used the opportunity to encourage students, particularly those interested in higher education, to seriously consider coming to CCC first.
“I promise you, we can be a vehicle to take you wherever you want to go—whether it be a doctor, a classroom teacher or law enforcement officer,” said Towner to the students. “We have great faculty and we certainly have great students here. I would put our programs up with any other program in the state and maybe even the region.”
During the session the students learned about the dangers of drinking and driving through DUI goggles with the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department; received a lesson in character building from Karen Woods-Done, CCC’s sociology chair/instructor; learned to dress for success with Orlando Paden from CCC's office of Student Employment; received information about teen sex and STDs from Athsicia Gooden, CCC’s director of student health; and learned about conflict resolution with Yolanda Morton, CCC’s academic counselor.
According to Vassel, Youth Leadership Clarksdale is currently in its 20th year.