Members of the Leadership North Augusta Class of 2012 were recognized June 6 at a graduation ceremony.
The ceremony at the North Augusta Public Safety police hut on East Buena Vista Avenue culminated the annual program, which began in October.
On the first Wednesday of each month, the 12 professionals gathered to learn about topics affecting North Augusta such as education, quality of life, government, community service, economic development, health, history, arts and culture.
“The goal is to help develop leaders in North Augusta,” said Bobby Bagwell, incoming chairman of the Leadership North Augusta board and as member of the program’s inaugural class. “It brings together professionals who are interested in developing their leadership skills or learning more about North Augusta.”
Mary Harden, an administrator with University Home Health, wanted to learn more about the community and plans to use what she’s learned to help others. “There are a lot of untapped resources in this community. A lot of services and a lot of history I wish more people in the community were aware of,” she said.
Fellow participant Katie Lyle shared similar thoughts about the program.
“Each class we learned something different,” said the district vice president for the Family Y of Downtown Augusta and the Family Y of North Augusta. “I have learned more about the community than I ever knew. It’s nice to get outside the four walls of our branch and really see what’s out there. I’m really impressed with what I learned.”
Shelley Craft, the current chairwoman of the Leadership North Augusta board, encouraged participants to use what they’ve learned to get more involved in the community.
When participants continue to work in the community, it shows that the program is doing what it was created to do, Craft said.
“Our goal is to continue to keep people interested and get people from this program into the community actually making a change,” she said. “This gives you a way to get involved and make a lot of contacts so you can make a difference.”
Other members of the Class of 2012 include: Brad Pond, Roy Kibler, Angela Benfield, Libby Burckhalter, Michael Taylor, Aaron Hensley, Venita Thomas, Rechelle Dallas, Nikki Cole and Shari Alexander.
Leadership North Augusta is an initiative that was created during the North Augusta 2000 strategic planning process. Applications are currently being accepted for the class of 2013.
For more information on the program or an application, visit www.leadershipnorthaugusta.com.