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Rockdale Youth Leadership kicks off Jan. 14

Rockdale County Public Schools and the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce kicked off a newly revived program to nurture the leaders of tomorrow with the six-month Rockdale Youth Leadership program starting Saturday.

This year’s program is taking 25 applicants and giving them monthly educational seminars on various aspects of society, such as the courts system and healthcare system, as well as workshops on leadership and personal growth. 

About 100 sophomores were nominated, 27 came to the orientation meeting, and about 25 signed up. Students were required to have a 2.56 GPA, show leadership potential and interest in leadership as well as community service.

“Although RCPS has run a similar program in the past, this year’s program is different in that it’s a combined effort between the school system and community leaders,” said Dr. Garrett Brundage at the Jan. 12 Board of Education work session.  “We wanted this to be a community initiative,” he said.

Along with volunteer hours and efforts from the Chamber and school staff, the program is also being partially funded from the STARS initiative and $4.5 million Safe Schools Healthy Students federal grant to help fill the requirement to promote expression of a “student voice.”  There is also a $50 application fee for students.

For the next Rockdale Youth Leadership class, the application process will begin in spring 2012 and the classes will run August to May, with a Youth Leadership Summit roughly planned for fall. 

The application is open to all students with a 2.56 GPA who will be sophomores during the RYL class year. For more information, contact Jeff Rogers at or Katy Zahradnik at (770) 483-7049.