Douglass junior receives LLYP’s Distinguished Leader Award
The Leadership Lexington Youth Program presented its 2019 Distinguished Leader Award to Drew Rodriguez, a junior at Frederick Douglass High School. He accepted the plaque April 10 during the LLYP graduation luncheon at the Clubhouse at The Red Mile, which closed out the eight-month program. “It’s about servant leadership, and we have a responsibility to pay it forward. This group collectively not only inspires change but creates change,” Drew said.
LLYP encourages high school students to connect with community leaders and to explore local issues, post-secondary options, career fields, and business opportunities. “The most enjoyable part was seeing how we all grew together as we were united by leadership,” Drew said. He also credited the steering committee for their support, adding, “The relationships I developed are incredible!”
The Distinguished Leader Award goes to a class member who demonstrates strong principles, dedication to community service, creativity, exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, and the potential to make a difference in the community. The selection criteria also include attendance record, participation, and willingness to reflect on all LLYP activities. Peers nominate candidates for the award, and the recipient receives a $1,000 scholarship upon high school graduation.
At the spring luncheon, the keynote speaker reminded students that their competence and character can be trained. “Something’s been planted inside you. Now it’s time to cultivate, and I encourage you to watch it grow. Who you’re becoming is more important than what you’re doing. Outline what’s important to you, and act on those decisions,” said Jason Cummins, executive associate athletics director for Student-Athlete Experience at the University of Kentucky. “Experiences are shaping you. Embrace your story,” he said, stressing a belief system and core values as essentials for successfully leading any team. “To be your best, you’ve got to work really hard behind the scenes when no one’s looking. Learn to push yourself beyond your talent to the core of your character.”
The Class of 2019 included 48 juniors, mostly from Fayette County Public Schools. Sponsors included UK HealthCare, FCPS, Central Bank, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky. For more details, visit the Commerce Lexington website.