Local Teens Welcomed to HPU and HPPD Youth Leadership Academy

Participants of the 2019 Youth Leadership Academy hosted by High Point University and the High Point Police Department are pictured during their first day on campus at HPU. The program runs through June 27.

HIGH POINT, N.C., June 18, 2019 – A group of local middle and high school students who were selected for the High Point Police Department’s Youth Leadership Academy began their work in leadership development on High Point University’s campus Monday.

This is the sixth year HPU and HPPD have partnered to host the 10-day program, which focuses on developing the teens’ leadership skills and introduces them to avenues for community service. The academy continues each weekday through June 27. The days begin at HPU with a guest speaker and then students go out to complete activities locally and across the state.

Patrick Welch, an officer with HPPD, is the academy’s lead organizer.

“The purpose of our academy is to select those students within Guilford County Schools that naturally possess a leadership quality and then build upon those traits,” said Welch. “We expose them to service-oriented activities and influential people in the hopes that these two weeks of life experiences will result in a lifetime of giving back and community leadership.  We are very proud of the students who have chosen to give up their time to be with us. It’s a testament to the fact that our younger generations are filled with caring and compassionate individuals willing and capable of carrying the torch in years to come.”

Camryn Torrence, a rising senior at High Point Central High School, has been looking forward to participating in the academy for a few years and is excited to visit new places, like Fort Bragg.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to bond with students from different schools,” said Torrence. “It’s amazing they provide this for us. I’m looking forward to meeting people and getting some advice for life after high school.”

The students will learn from community leaders, complete leadership-building and team-building activities, and participate in several community service projects.

Today, they are participating in a service project at People & Paws 4 Hope in Greensboro. On Wednesday, they will visit Brookdale, an assisted living community, and the Salvation Army of High Point. On Thursday, they will tour High Point City Hall, and then they will end the week at Hanging Rock State Park on Friday.

Among next week’s activities, students will package lunch to be served at Open Door Ministries on Monday, June 24. The preparations will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The students will also write thank you notes to community leaders from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 27, the final day of the program. Both activities will be held on HPU’s campus. The final week will also include a trip to Fort Bragg and a service project at the North Carolina Zoo.

Joshua Hughes just finished middle school at Allen Jay Preparatory Academy and will be entering the ninth grade at Smith High School in the upcoming school year.

“I’m looking forward to going to the zoo and seeing what work we’ll do there,” said Hughes, who was recommended for the academy by his principal. “I hope to learn how to be a better person and make an impact on the community.”

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