October 12, 2011 Edition

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Gov. Mike Beebe (center) visits with representatives of the Lawrence County Ralph Joseph Youth Leadership Program recently in Little Rock. Those attending included (front, from left): Gail Clark, Brittney Pinkston, Bethany Wright, Whitney Meeks, Rachael Land, Katie Blankenship, Anna Tyson, Shayla Dickson, Lindsey Crews, Joshlyn Flanery, Ashley Durden; (back) Rep. James Ratliff, Range Weeks, Zack Doyle, Holly Looney, Hunter Nunnally, Peyton Tillman, Kara DeShazo, Tim Taylor and John Thomison.

RJYLP Class 17 visits state Capitol

Representatives of the Ralph Joseph Youth Leadership Program recently traveled to Little Rock

In addition to a tour of the state Capitol, members of Class 17 participated in a ropes course and a "True Colors" personality program.

The first day in Little Rock students experienced the ExCEL leadership ropes course firsthand.

"The participants had a great time," Ashley Durden, family and consumer science Extension agent, said. "One student even remarked that she was afraid to do the course but overcame that fear and even rode on the zip cord to get down! The course helps many people, both students and adults, find new ways to deal with old problems."

The next day was devoted to touring the Capitol and participating in a personality assessment.

Dr. Joe Waldrum helped students learn about themselves through a program called "True Colors."

"Later, many said they felt they understood each other better, which we all agree is an accomplishment with 15 students from five different schools!" Durden said.

In the afternoon, the participants were given the opportunity to meet with Gov. Mike Beebe. State Rep. James Ratliff was able to provide the students with an overview of what happens in the Capitol and explained some of his responsibilities and duties.

Durden said that the trip was a success. Other adult chaperones included Gail Clark, Tim Taylor and John Thomison.

Each year, 15 high school students, representing the four Lawrence County school districts, are chosen to become participants in the program.

Other sessions will include community assessment, communication, etiquette, decision making, project reports and cultural diversity. Students also complete a community service project during the program.

For more information regarding the youth leadership program, contact the Lawrence County Extension Office at 886-3741 or any committee member.

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