Youth Leaders donate food items, learn value of service
The 15th class of the Cleveland/Bradley Youth Leadership program recently took a field trip to learn about Health and Social Services in Cleveland and Bradley County.
Youth Leadership is an initiative of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce that serves to enhance the quality of life in our community at the student level by familiarizing future business leaders with the community and providing exposure to volunteer opportunities.
On the field trip, the young leaders visited the Family Resource Agency Blythe Center and classrooms of the children served by this agency. They also visited Life Bridges, which helps people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, to learn how they teach these individuals to become more self-sufficient, train them to perform everyday tasks and help them to gain employment in the community.
he students enjoyed lunch at Tennova Healthcare—Cleveland and toured departments that often affect the healthcare of individuals throughout the community.
The students were asked to bring items to donate to The Caring Place food bank, which gave 106,110 pounds of food to those in need in 2015. The Caring Place also addresses basic spiritual, physical and social needs of the disadvantaged in the community. They also visited the United Way offices to learn about its goals in health, education and stability and how its services influence individuals and improve the foundations of our community.
“This is a very valuable trip for our students as they learn about needs in their own community and how they may volunteer and make a difference,” said Sherry Crye, coordinator of the Youth Leadership program. “The students were especially generous to The Caring Place and donated several pounds of food to be distributed.”
The success of the day was reflected in comments from the students: “This day made me want to volunteer and reach out to places here.” “I enjoyed learning about all the service opportunities that I can get involved in.” “I also enjoyed learning about new opportunities for service in the area.”
Crye concluded, “This is a great group of future leaders who see the needs and are willing to step up and get involved.”
Selection of the 16th class will take place soon. The Youth Leadership program is open to rising juniors and seniors from Bradley Central, Cleveland and Walker Valley High Schools and Tennessee Christian Preparatory School. The application will be available on the Chamber website in early February. If you have any questions about the program, please call Sherry Crye, 423-472-6587, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.