Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Sponsored Local High School Student to Participate in Economic and Community Development Program at Huntingdon College

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Wyatt Townsend of Fairhope was one of the 32 rising high school seniors who participated in the third annual Huntingdon College Economic and Community Development Scholars Program June 25-27. 

The program is planned in partnership with and sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, the Economic Development Association of Alabama, and the Alabama Department of Commerce, ECDS introduced young citizens who are poised to begin their professional journeys to the importance of economic and community development. 

The students met with professionals seasoned in the processes of economic and community development and participated in a two-day economic development simulation. Participants "graduated" from the program wearing hard hats for ground-breaking and ribbon-cutting simulations.  

Townsend was selected through the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership program where he became intrigued with his community and local government. "Participating in the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership Program, I became more interested in government and then now with this opportunity I realized this is really the pathway I would like to take,” said Townsend. 

"It’s our goal to expose students like Wyatt Townsend to opportunities in our community to use their gifts and talents to lead our next generation,” said Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Workforce Director Christina Hellmich. "It excites me to see students who go through the Youth Leadership program graduate with a fire to serve the community in ways that hadn't previously considered.” 

"We had an incredibly impressive collection of high school students on our campus last week," said Huntingdon senior vice president Anthony Leigh, an architect of the program. "These students are difference makers in their schools and their communities. I am confident they have returned to their communities enlightened about what economic and community developers do, and we hope that knowledge has given them an appreciation for the work of growing and bettering their community and our state." 

Wyatt Townsend is a senior at Fairhope High School and plans to attend Huntingdon College after graduation. He would like to major in Political Science with a minor in Business.

About Youth Leadership:

The Youth Leadership Program is an intensive and elite, seven-month program designed to provide Eastern Shore high school students with the opportunity to gain a greater knowledge about their community, develop strong leadership skills and gain more self and social awareness. Participants engage in topic discussions including the history & geography of Baldwin County, law and government, business smarts, health and human services, and the environment. In addition to class sessions, students work in teams to develop small group projects that address and benefit a special community need. 

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