“We are always amazed at how different each class is! This was an incredible group of students that we will miss greatly. Watching them grow and develop leadership skills over this past year has been very rewarding," said Rhonda Rhodes, President of the Hancock Resource Center, who founded the Hancock Youth Leadership Academy in 2012.
Brooke Ladner and Dimetri Lyons were the recipients of $250 scholarships that will be paid to the participants’ colleges once enrolled. Brooke Ladner attends Hancock High School and plans on attending Mississippi College in the fall. She credits HYLA with “allowing her meet new people and helping her to get out of her comfort zone.” Dimetri Lyons attends Bay High School and is undecided at this time on which college he will attend. He learned “how to work with others in difficult situations.” Pictured from left to right, Dimetri Lyons (Bay High), Rhonda Rhodes, Director, and Brooke Ladner (Hancock High)
The 2016 HYLA graduating class are pictured from left to right: (Front row) Claire Lundgren (OLA), Talia Jackson (Bay High), Haley Akers (Hancock), Ariana Rusher (Hancock), Abby Ladner (OLA), Dr. Samuel Jones, Amy Keith (Hancock), Aidia Suter (Bay High), Marie Konopacki (Hancock), Adara Rutherford (Hancock). (Middle row) Dimetri Lyons (Bay High), Jill Seymour (Bay High), Jasmine Martin (Hancock), Kloe Lloyd (OLA), Jordan Ladner (Hancock High), Tarah Necaise (Bay High), Katie Ladner (Hancock), Morgan Lacoste (Hancock), Elora Pierce (Bay High), Minerva Alonso (Bay High), Cooper Compretta (Bay High). (Back row) Drew Burnett (SSC), Seth Taylor (SSC), Brooke Ladner (Hancock), Tim Papania (Hancock), Bradley Lewis (Hancock), Andrew Elkins (SSC), Corbin Blanchard (SSC), and Cody Peranich (SSC).
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy is the first county-wide youth leadership program in Hancock County and is a program of the Hancock Resource Center. Founded in 2008, the Hancock Resource Center (HRC) is a local nonprofit and HUD-approved counseling agency that works to improve housing conditions throughout Hancock County by fostering affordable homeownership, helping to repair or replace damaged homes, and providing foreclosure and homelessness prevention counseling. HRC also fosters community development programs, including HYLA, and provides counseling and case management services and assistance for a variety of community issues, including domestic violence, debt counseling, and disaster recovery.
HRC is a 501(c)(3) public charity that accepts donations to further its mission.