For Immediate Release.
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) held a graduation ceremony for its eighth class of high school seniors on Wednesday, April 28th, at the Robert V. Magee Auditorium. Jay Ladner, head coach of the University of Southern Mississippi’s men’s basketball team, was the guest speaker. The graduation, sponsored by Triton Systems and Alexander, Van Loon, Sloan, Levens & Favre, marks the end of very challenging year-long program that was suspended for months due to COVID-19. During the program, HYLA students developed and sharpened leadership skills though training sessions that included such topics as how to affect change, civic engagement, career planning and budgeting, economic development and entrepreneurship, college planning, community assets, and diversity, safety, and wellness on campus.
“We are so very proud of the HYLA Class of 2020! They have faced many challenges this school year and have met disappointment with grace and triumphed. We will miss them greatly.” said Rhonda Rhodes, President of the Hancock Resource Center, who founded the Hancock Youth Leadership Academy in 2012.
The Hancock Resource Center is the first and only county-wide youth leadership program in Hancock County, and is a program of the Hancock Resource Center. We are currently in the application process for the Class of 2021. Moving forward, local community sponsorships are needed. Please consider sponsoring a session or making a general donation to support the ongoing operation of The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy. Invest in Hancock County’s future by cultivating its next generation of leaders: visit www.hanockhrc.org or call 228-463-8887 to learn how.
Picture #1: The 2020 HYLA graduating class includes from left to right: (front row) Lauren-Anne Lagasse (Bay High), Peyton Lagarde (Hancock), Grace Koons (OLA), Sophia Hebert (Bay High), Reagan Fairley (OLA), Jodi Everett (Bay High), Audrey DiMento (Bay High), Nique Cole (Bay High), Lavon Bullock (Bay High), Kayla Broome (OLA), Emma Arcement (Hancock), and Karime Alonso.
(back row) Thomas Mortillaro (SSC), Aiden McKeon (Bay High), Breauna McDonald (Bay High), Brandon Merwin (Hancock), Garret Lamky (Bay High), Tyler Koennen (SSC), Ella Nolan (Hancock), Virginia Perret (Hancock), Cali Reinhart (OLA), Gracie Saucier (OLA), Amyya Tillman (Hancock), Nicholas Toepfer (SSC), William Trapani (SSC), and Lizzie Weems (Bay High).
For more information, please contact Rhonda Rhodes at 228-463-8887.