Students learn about work, history, leadership

Jul. 29, 2014 @ 08:37 AM

Over the last two weeks, a group of rising ninth-graders have visited various places, from a plastics plant in Lenoir to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, to learn about jobs in the region, North Carolina history and most importantly how to be a leader in their future careers.

Michaela Moody, 15, said her favorite activities during the Youth Leadership Academy Camp, sponsored by Communities in Schools and the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce, were touring the BMW plant in Greer, S.C., and visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Students were nominated for the camp by counselors at their middle schools.

“I didn’t know there were a lot of steps to build a car,” Moody said. “It was actually fascinating. Then, we went to NASCAR. We toured the park and saw all the cars from the Hudson Hornet to Dale Earnhart Jr.”

David White, 14, loved the historical day at Wilson Creek where the students went on a hike and learned about Mortimer, a town that washed away decades ago.

“This week, we’ve gone to the Brown Mountain Beach, and that has been a whirlwind,” White said. “That has been really fun to see what’s been going on there, because I have been to Wilson Creek and Brown Mountain Beach area before and thought those places were dilapidated and come to find out, these places are very much alive.”

Many of the students said they learned all types of leadership skills to take with them into high school and their future careers.

A few days into camp, Morgan Mitchum, 14, said, “(I’m looking forward) to becoming better leaders. It shows we took a course of trying to become better people in the community.”

Malaysia Lipford, 14, said, “I learned in leadership camp you have to be responsible and just how to take responsibility for your actions and that you don’t really have to be a special person to be a leader. Anyone can be a leader.”