MILLEDGEVILLE — Georgia Military College Prep School junior Analese Bridges said she is excited to further her leadership skills and get motivation from local leaders while participating in the Mayor’s Commission on Youth Development.
“I really like volunteering and I’m really an advocate for education and literacy. When I heard about this [program], I knew this was right up my ally; it’s something I really wanted to do,” said the 17-year-old, who plans to eventually enroll in law school at Duke University. “I want to use groups like this to step off and be a change in the community. Overall as youth, we have a responsibility to the community to serve and take away from every experience to become even better than we can imagine.”
Along with Bridges, 16 fellow high school students were also recommended for this year’s Mayor’s Commission. Students were inducted into the 2013 program during an investiture ceremony last week.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the mayor and getting to know him,” said Johnathon Currie, a Baldwin High School freshman who plans to go into the military upon graduation.
Mayor’s Commission Special Projects Leader Isaac Cleveland said the program helps develop the knowledge, skills and values youth need to be effective active citizens.
“An effective active citizen is a person who understands the obligation and undertakes the responsibility to improve community conditions, build healthier communities, and address social problems,” Cleveland said. “A civically active individual understands and believes in the democratic ideal of participation and the need to incorporate the contributions of every member of the community.”
Mayor Richard Bentley initiated each student into the program with certificates as proud parents, friends and family members snapped photographs.
“When you go through this program, you will find that you have more in common than you think. Hopefully you will get out of it what you put into it, and hopefully you feel that you’re better prepared for life and school,” he said to the students. “These youth will serve as the forerunners of a larger group of Baldwin County young people who will become familiar with local democracy and serve as advocates for youth concerns.”