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Dunbar & Henry Clay seniors lead way in 2021 Youth Salute

McKenna Sun   Marin Cottle

In the 2021 Youth Salute program, Lexington’s Youth Leader of the Year honors went to McKenna Sun, a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. She also received a $500 scholarship from Holifield Photography. Marin Cottle of Henry Clay High School was tapped as a national ambassador and received an access pass for the National Council on Youth Leadership’s Oct. 21 virtual conference, to which all the honorees were invited. Marin also got a $125 award from Central Bank & Trust Co.

Youth Salute recognized more than 600 students from 55 high schools in Central Kentucky in an online ceremony in late September. Transylvania University also hosted a virtual leadership program for the seniors, who collected more than $82,000 in scholarships and awards from various colleges and businesses.

Joining McKenna and Marin as the top honorees from their respective schools were Emma Anderson of Frederick Douglass High School, Joseph Edmonds Jr. of Carter G. Woodson Academy, Carolyn Grap of Lafayette High, Jeanieca Johnson of Bryan Station High, and Myka Smith-Jackson of STEAM Academy. Myka also received a $4,000 scholarship from Transy. (Tates Creek High School did not participate this year.)

Emma Anderson Joseph Edmonds Jr.  Carolyn Grap  Jeanieca Johnson  Myka Smith-Jackson

Other awardees from Fayette County Public Schools were Carson Kitts of Henry Clay, a $4,000 scholarship from Eastern Kentucky University; and Zakirah Rohan of Frederick Douglass and Parker Rowland of Henry Clay, $4,000 scholarships from Transy.

Since 1980, the Central Kentucky Council on Youth Leadership has conducted Youth Salute in Fayette and nearby counties in cooperation with the nonprofit National Council on Youth Leadership. High school counselors, teachers, principals, and other community leaders may nominate rising seniors. They must have at least a 3.0 grade point average and have held at least two leadership roles in school, religious, or community organizations during the past two years. Holifield Photography creates a display for each nominee featuring photos and a biographical sketch. In addition, a banner with students’ photographs goes to each school.

Source: Jim Holifield, chair of the Central Kentucky Council on Youth Leadership, (859) 276-2040

Credit: All photos courtesy of Holifield Photography

(Posted Oct. 27, 2021)