A number of Greenville Middle School students graduated Monday from the Teach One to Lead One program, a 12-week course focused on building character and leadership in youth through presentations, hands-on activities and mentorship. The program also focuses on a curriculum based on 11 universal principles, including respect, integrity, courage, compassion, humility and more. (Advocate Staff/Jonathan Bryant)
A number of Greenville Middle School students graduated Monday from the Teach One to Lead One program, a 12-week course focused on building character and leadership in youth through presentations, hands-on activities and mentorship. The program also focuses on a curriculum based on 11 universal principles, including respect, integrity, courage, compassion, humility and more. (Advocate Staff/Jonathan Bryant)

Archived Story

Students graduate leadership course

Published 3:55pm Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nearly two dozen Greenville Middle School students were added to the growing list of alumni of the 12-week Teach One to Lead One program.

And though ice cream is customary on the menu of the program’s graduation ceremony, it was the taste of success that was sweetest of all.

Entering its seventh year, the Teach One to Lead One program is designed to teach students with untapped potential how to use the tools that they have been given to be successful in life, as well as to build character based on practical leadership skills.

The program also instills 11 universal principles combined with a traditional mentoring approach, spearheaded by mentors Margie Kennedy, Susan Andrews, Jon Gilliland and Chad McGriff.

“What we do is work to equip these young people to create positive relationships, because we know how important that is to students, and to stand strong with healthy habits, because we know that as adults if we can replace our bad habits with good ones it makes all the difference,” Kennedy said. “Also, we want them to know that they can be a tremendous influence with their peer groups, and also with those younger.  That’s why we call it ‘Teach One to Lead One,’ and when they learn these tools and how to use them, they’re going to influence others coming behind them.”

In addition to the students’ mentors throughout the 12-week program, a number of community leaders visited Greenville Middle School Monday afternoon to offer words of congratulations and encouragement to the graduates, including Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon and Amy Bryan, interim superintendent of Butler County Schools.

McLendon challenged the students to avoid peer pressure and the temptation of distractions, and to stay focused on the big picture.

“You can do anything you want to do,” McLendon said. “The more you put into something, the more you’ll get out of something.  If I can be the mayor of Greenville, you can do anything you put your mind to.”

Bryan remarked on the importance of the 11 principles, as well as being a guiding light to others.

“I see your universal principles here, and I know that we wouldn’t need alternative school and those things if everyone in our schools knew about these, and behaved with these principles in mind,” Bryan said. “Our employees could learn from these things as well, as adults, about being courageous, about having compassion for others, humility and striving for excellence.  I want you to not teach one person that you know, but I want you to radiate all of this — share it with everybody. You be the leader that helps them with all of these universal principles.”

This year’s Teach One to Lead One graduating class inlcudes: Ne’Shea Ball, Aaron Betton, Tiara Boone, Zykita Bradley, Quintavious Johnson, Calvin Schofield, George Starnes, Brittany Taylor, Jamil Thompson, Jimmie Thompson, Corday Bones, Trevarn Caldwell, McKia Carter, Sydnee Colvin, Austin Duke, Austin Fortson, Jakevious Hawkins, De’Asha Mitchell, Tamiah Owens, Zin Peterson, Cordale Powell, Deuntrell Simpson and Erica Smith.

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