High School Students Graduate from Youth Leadership Program

April 22, 2021

2020-2021 Leadership Jackson Graduates celebrate at the Bowling & Skating Family Fun Center.

Thirty-nine aspiring young leaders have completed the 2020-2021 Leadership University (LU) program, a community youth leadership development program of the Jackson Chamber. The class represents all the public, private and home-schooled juniors in Jackson-Madison County high schools.

Leadership University is a five-month program designed to identify a diverse group of high school students who demonstrate leadership potential; and to develop in an interactive environment, the framework for constructive leadership, committed involvement and responsible participation in the future of this community. Major sponsors of the program include Allen Samuels of Jackson, Inc., Union University and The University of Memphis – Lambuth Campus. Corporate sponsorship includes Adelsberger Marketing, Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC, Central Distributors, Inc., FirstBank, Gerdau, Hiller Plumbing - Heating - Cooling - Electrical, Leaders Credit Union and M G Construction Co. LLC.

“The past year has been a trying one to say the least, but one bright spot in 2020 has been the dedication and perseverance of the Leadership University Board and the Director of Leadership Development, Brandy Stutsman,” says 2020–2021 Leadership University Chair Dennis Hornsby, Robert's Jewelers. “When the Covid-19 pandemic started, we were unsure how or if there would be a Leadership University class for 2020–21, but we pulled together and made sure this class had the best experience possible. I have been honored to serve on the Leadership University Board since 2017, along with several dedicated board members. Their commitment is the reason this program is one of the best youth leadership programs around. The LU class of ’21 persevered through a challenging year. We are proud of them and anticipate seeing great things from them in the future.”

During the celebration, class members were recognized for their achievements and received their Leadership University graduate certificate of completion. Emma Eddleman, Augustine School, was honored with the Judy Renshaw Youth Leadership Award for surpassing all requirements in Leadership University.

“To say that this year’s class had its challenges and obstacles to overcome is an understatement,” said Brandy Stutsman, director of leadership development, Jackson Chamber. “The more the class learns and develops leadership skills, the more they will invest in the community. It will be exciting to see the impact these students will have in our area.”

During the program, class members completed 32 classroom hours and six hours of community service. LU students discussed ethical leadership with local leaders, participated in mock job interviews, tackled alcohol and drug issues, and other activities. The program helps the class members see their community from different viewpoints and focus on where they can make a positive difference.

The Leadership University graduates include:

Wade Baker, Jackson Christian School
Leigh Baldwin, Madison Academic Magnet High School
Nylah Berry, North Side High School
Will Brown, Trinity Christian Academy
Camryn Burkhead, South Side High School
Shelby Calhoun, Madison Academic Magnet High School
Gracie Marie Clark, Family Christian School
Jaelyn Dixon, Liberty Technology Magnet High School
Blair Driver, University School of Jackson
Jeremiah DuVentre, Jackson Central Merry Early College High
Emma Eddleman, Augustine School
Grace Ferrell, South Side High School
Sarah Gabert, Faith Home School Tutorial
Ani Garabedina, Sacred Heart of Jesus High School
Joshua Giannini, South Side High School
Joy Grantham, Faith Home School Tutorial
Kevin Hicks, Jackson Central Merry Early College High
Grace Hilton, North Side High School
Cade Hornsby, South Side High School
Mae Howell, University School of Jackson
Jake Keyl, Sacred Heart of Jesus High School
Jasmine Kirk, South Side High School
Aaron Markham, Faith Home School Tutorial
Joslyn McClellan, South Side High School
Zoey McMurry, South Side High School
Ginny Miller, Trinity Christian Academy
Addison Neely, Trinity Christian Academy
Chancellor Noble, Madison Academic Magnet High School
Mmesoma Nwokolo, University School of Jackson
Eli Patton, Madison Academic Magnet High School
Genesis Pearson, Jackson Central Merry Early College High
Henry Piercey, University School of Jackson
Brylee Pusser, Trinity Christian Academy
Brently Ramey, Jackson Christian School
Caroline Ramey, Jackson Christian School
Jasmine Sharpe, Madison Academic Magnet High School
Amaya Stinson, Jackson Central Merry Early College High
Millie Treadway, Madison Academic Magnet High School
Jaquelin Vazquez, Madison Academic Magnet High School

For more information about the program, contact the Jackson Chamber’s Director of Leadership Development, Brandy Stutsman at 731-423-2200 or by email at bstutsman@jacksontn.com.

About the Jackson Chamber:

The Jackson Chamber was founded in 1905 – seven years prior to the United States Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber consists of a diverse and talented staff, an executive committee, dedicated volunteers, and more than 1,300 business members – all committed to growing the economy and quality of life for everyone in Madison County and the region.