By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – A luncheon was held at the Crockett Civic Center to honor three young ladies who recently completed the first Houston County Youth Leadership program.
T’Nhia Berry, Krystal Harper and Katherine Murillo were the guests of honor at the Friday, Aug. 2 event for their work over the summer.
The trio of Crockett High School students had worked as interns in a variety of positions within the city of Crockett and at the Houston County Electric Coop in an effort to gain some real-life work experience before they graduate.
The program was established through the efforts of Crockett ISD Superintendent Terry Myers and former college professor, city of Houston official and Crockett native, Jeffield Jefferson.
Jefferson opened the program and said the idea for the program came during March of this year. Originally, he explained, he didn’t believe the idea would come to fruition in 2019 – until he met program coordinator and CHS English teacher Alicia Bailey at the Mary Allen College Founder’s Day.
“We had three students, Krystal, T’Nhia and Katherine who were able to take advantage of the program. We sent out – and I bugged (Crockett City Administrator) John (Angerstein) – to work to get a list of names in the county. Instead of calling this the Crockett Youth Leadership Development Program we called it Houston County and that’s what we want to do is expand it to the county,” Jefferson said.
“I think when you hear the comments today and speak with the interns,” he continued, “You’ll find out that they got something that was very different. They got a chance to go to companies and got a chance to rotate and understand the various business units of that company. They now have an understanding of administration, marketing, operations, finance, research and development and services. It’s something they might not have even known about. I’m sure they will want to go out and tell their stories – at least to Crockett High School. More importantly they got it themselves and it will help them in their careers,” he added.
Following Jefferson’s opening remarks, he yielded the podium to Crockett Mayor Dr. Ianthia Fisher for the welcome.
“We are so proud to get to work with Mr. Jefferson. This was his idea and his brainchild. It all came together and we are so excited. We would like to acknowledge the coaches (Selena Eleby, Kelby Koehler and Gary White), the coordinator Ms. Bailey and everyone who has had a part. We also want to acknowledge the parents because we know where you find a child who wants to succeed, there is a parent somewhere in the background,” the mayor said.
The mayor was followed by the city administrator, Kathi Calvert with the HCEC and Bailey who all expressed their appreciation to the three young ladies for their efforts in completing the program.
After lunch was served, the CISD superintendent addressed the crowd as the keynote speaker.
“At the school district,” Myers began, “You run into a lot of people with good ideas, but most of them don’t come with any type of support system or resources. They’re just good ideas. When Mr. Jefferson came to me, he came with resources.”
Myers said the two of them saw eye-to-eye on the program being about the children and from there the idea became a reality.
“This type of program gave me three more resources at the high school. I can walk into a room and say ‘Krystal, was that right? And if it wasn’t, what should we be doing?’ I have the same thing with T’Nhia and Katherine. We want to do what’s right,” he said.
He assured those in attendance that his goal was to do right by the students, the teachers and the community.
“I don’t know how many of you have heard me say this before, but we are going to make decisions at this school district not just in the best interest of the school district. We want to make decisions based on the best interests of the community. That’s what we’ve tried to do since I’ve been here. When I first got here, I felt like we had three separate entities. The school, the city and the county and we were going in three different directions. I addressed that in my interview. We have to make decisions based on what is best for the community. What we did here with these three young people is good for this community. It’s good for the school. It’s good for this city and it’s good for this county. Most of all though, is it was good for these three young people,” he continued.
Once Myers concluded, certificates were presented to Alicia Bailey for her efforts in helping to coordinate the program as well as interns T’Nhia Berry, Krystal Harper and Katherine Murillo for completing the program.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.