LEXINGTON, Ky. (3/22/13) – Juniors in this year’s Leadership Lexington Youth (LLY) class crawled into an armored tactical vehicle, met a drug-sniffing German shepherd and checked out a mobile crime lab in their final session before April’s graduation.
“It can be glamorous, but it’s generally nothing like you see on ‘CSI.’ We do all that stuff, but it takes a lot longer. It doesn’t happen that quick,” Assistant Chief Dwayne Holman said during the Division of Police tour.
Public Safety and Government Day is one of several regular LLY themes that enable students to interact with community leaders outside school to see how they, too, can make a difference. The group exercises and on-site experiences also cover arts and media, Go Green sustainability, health and human services, higher education and professional development.
Since photography is one of her hobbies, Shaimaa Abdel Jaber of Tates Creek High School enjoyed meeting a documentary filmmaker and visiting the WKYT studios earlier this year. She also cited Wednesday’s peek into the criminal justice system as a fascinating outing.
“I’d never been to the courthouse, and we talked to the judge,” she said, noting, “You really have to have an outgoing personality to make those decisions every day.”
Having moved here from Jordan five years ago, Shaimaa has learned much about how Fayette County operates through LLY. She also was impressed by a young county councilman who first felt called to public service when a local baseball field needed lighting. “He has a passion to help others and his community, which is great,” she said.
Other highlights of the eight-month LLY program included tours of local college campuses, a team-building exercise with the ROTC unit at the University of Kentucky, etiquette training and a social media lesson that showed students what their Facebook page really says about them.
“We’ve put a real big focus on the college/university application process. We help them understand what they need to do and how their essays should be approached,” said Amy Carrington, LLY program coordinator. “It is great to work with this group of students,” she added. “They’re bright young people, and they have a lot of great ideas.”
Hiatt Allen, a Tates Creek junior who is partial to politics, took note of a variety of career options in the LLY sectors. He also appreciated the chance to network with local officials, perhaps laying some groundwork for his future.
“It’s been educational to see how many opportunities there are in Lexington and nice to see adult leaders recognize what gifts we have to offer,” he said.
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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