First Posted: 11/10/2009
DOBSON Youth Leadership Surry provides an opportunity for area high school students to learn about leadership in its many different aspects across the county.
During the past year, the students have taken tours of Elkin and Mount Airy, they have hiked on Pilot Mountain and on Tuesday they learned about crime and justice.
The students from Elkin High School, the Surry County School System high schools and Mount Airy High School had the chance to tour the jail and get fingerprinted as well as observe the district criminal court. They listened to a presentation by Detective Chad Hutchens on identity theft and the dangers of social networking sites such as Facebook and My Space.
The Surry Community College law enforcement club provided a crime scene demonstration for the students, allowing them to go through the process of arriving on the scene all the way through sending the evidence off for analysis.
For Abby Bledsoe, a Mount Airy High School student, and Kirstin Gardner, a Surry Central High School student, Tuesdays activities were their favorite from the experience.
We learned the most today. Elkin was the most interesting because I didnt know a lot about Elkin, said Gardner.
Throughout the experience, the students have learned about the role leadership plays throughout communities.
I think it helped us to see the different parts of the community. We got to see from the economic side how a community works, said Gardner.
I have a greater appreciation for the leadership in the communities and what goes on behind the scenes, said Bledsoe.
I have a better understanding of how the community relies on different types of people, said Tori McGowan, a Mount Airy High School student. There is lots of stuff under the surface. We just want to see the good aspects of things, and today we got to see the people who take care of the bad.
The students in this years class are quick to recommend the program to others in the coming years.
We came away with a real understanding of how crucial each of us is to the county. We got to experience a little bit of each community and realize how much we rely on each other, said Rachel Harris, a Mount Airy High School student.
This years group finishes up and next years group kicks off at a joint event in December. The Youth Leadership Surry program is sponsored by the Greater Mount Airy and Yadkin Valley chambers of commerce.