For Immediate Release:
May 7, 2019
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) held a graduation ceremony for its eighth class of junior high students on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at Saint Stanislaus’ College Cafe. The graduation was the culmination of a program that began in January. Seventeen bright young students displaying strong leadership potential from all four area middle schools were chosen to participate in the program. Over the course of the last five months, HYLA students engaged in a series of sessions that developed and strengthened their self-awareness and leadership styles, exposed them to local government and county and municipal administration to promote civic engagement, increased their awareness of the importance of small business and industry to the health of the community, and demonstrated the role of the arts in sustaining a community’s culture.
The graduation ceremony was held immediately after the final session of the program, and was sponsored by Alexander, Van Loon, Sloan, Levens & Favre, PLLC. To start the day, the young leaders completed service projects that they planned. One project, “Community Cleanup” was comprised of six students who cleaned St. Mary Catholic Cemetery and the beach by the Washington Street pier. The second group, comprised of eleven students, organized the “Nursing Home Kindness”. These students prepared goodie baskets and visited with the residents of Dunbar Village.
Students then participated in several activities which provided the springboard to launch the students from the program, as they are now set to enter high school as young leaders with cultural sensitivity and a firm understanding of their community’s assets and resources.
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy is the first county-wide youth leadership program in Hancock County. HYLA extends sincere appreciation to the generous sponsors of the 2019 program: Accelerated Physical Therapy, AVL, (Alexander, Van Loon, Sloan, Levens & Favre), Brehm Bell, Attorney at Law, Betz, Rosetti & Associates, Clement Benvenutti, Attorney at Law, Chemours, Clay Creations, Coast Electric, Maria Compretta, JP Compretta, DAK Americas, Diamondhead Dental Clinic, Edmond Fahey Funeral Home, The First, ANBA, Mark and Leslie Henderson, Bert Keel, Jr. DMD, Leadership Hancock County/ Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, Dr. William LeDoux, Mike Meyers (State Farm Agent), John McDonald Realty, Mississippi Power Assoc., Pet Haven Veterinary Hospital, Rolls Royce, SABIC Innovative Plastics, Silver Slipper Casino, Southern Printing & Silkscreening, Dean and Marilene Taylor, Tellus Self Storage, Triton Systems, Inc, RPM Pizza, LLC, Waveland Walmart, Bay Waveland Middle School, Hancock Middle School, Our Lady Academy, and Saint Stanislaus.
(Picture #1) Max Garrett (Hancock), Owen Haynes (Hancock), Louis Weber (Saint Stanislaus), Makayla Robertson (Hancock), and Landon DeWitt (Hancock) prepare to clean Saint Mary Cemetery.
(Picture #2) Several HYLA students bring goodies and visit with Dunbar resident Bob Hubbard and Administrator Amy Ivey.