LLYP Distinguished Leader hails from Tates Creek High School
The Leadership Lexington Youth Program has presented its 2020 Distinguished Leader Award to junior Charles Wilson, the first recipient from Tates Creek High School. “I enjoyed the opportunity this year with LLYP, and we all developed a tight relationship,” Charles said. “I have learned what it means to serve Lexington as a youth leader. I am excited to take all the skills that I’ve learned from LLYP and use them in the community.”
LLYP encourages high school students to connect with community leaders and to explore local issues, post-secondary options, career fields, and business opportunities. Peers nominate candidates for the Distinguished Leader Award, which goes to a class member who demonstrates strong principles, dedication to community service, creativity, exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, a keen understanding of community issues, and the potential to make a difference. The selection criteria also include attendance record, participation, and willingness to reflect on all LLYP activities.
Amid the COVID-19 restrictions, LLYP canceled April’s graduation luncheon, which caps the eight-month program. Instead, organizers invited back guest speaker Vitale Buford, who led two virtual sessions to help students navigate times of uncertainty. “She had spoken to the class earlier in the year (on Health & Human Services Day) about perfectionism and strategies for maintaining positive mentality, so the class was familiar with her, and I think that helped tremendously. Hopefully they picked up some good tools to navigate through adversity now and in the future,” said Amy Carrington Stout, director of Leadership Development with Commerce Lexington. “It has brought me great joy to connect with the students virtually,” she added. “I’ve been impressed with their openness and fortitude.”
The LLYP Class of 2020 included 31 juniors from Fayette County Public Schools. Program sponsors were UK HealthCare, FCPS, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky. For more details, visit the Commerce Lexington website.
Kudos for Charles
Sampling of quotes from nominations submitted by fellow class members
“Charles was always extremely tuned in during every discussion. He asked questions when he wanted to learn more, took leadership in group projects, and led verbally and through example. He understands the importance of a strong community and how to build better people. Charles is definitely someone I would rely on if I needed someone to take leadership over any sort of project.”
“He is very dedicated to showing great leadership skills and has a very personable attitude. He not only relates to all people, but puts those same people before himself.”
“Charles constantly shows his leadership in LLYP through his urge to grasp concepts and ideas that can set him apart from other leaders. He continuously leads by example through his volunteering and openness to other thoughts that may even vary from his own. He has set himself apart from others this year in every aspect. His outgoing character shines through and is a light when people need to be guided.”