A Publication of the Telfair County Chamber of Commerce

Telfair-Wheeler Youth Leadership Program
Telfair-Wheeler Youth Leadership Program

The Telfair-Wheeler Youth Leadership program was established by the Telfair County Chamber of Commerce to educate and prepare tomorrow’s leaders to the unique needs of our rural area.


The program involves youth from Telfair and Wheeler Counties. Many of the needs and issues of Telfair and Wheeler Counties are the same. Frequently, when two communities are able to join together, they can accomplish more than one county “going it alone”.  If the Telfair and Wheeler youth of today, our leaders of tomorrow, are aware of the critical needs of this area and have a history of working together cohesively, then the success of both Counties will be assured.

This program is made possible by the contributions made by local businesses and individuals.

For more information on the Youth Leadership Program or how to make a contribution, contact the Telfair County Chamber of Commerce:  (229) 868-6365; rogers@telfairco.org


The 2014-2015 Telfair-Wheeler Youth Leadership Program met on January 12, 2015 at the McRae-Helena Municipal Court Building. Elected officials from the City of McRae-Helena and Telfair County Board of Commissioners were invited to attend in addition to sponsors of the Youth Leadership Program. Attending were Commissioner Pat Ray-Telfair County Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Annie Williams-Telfair County Board of Commissioners, Council Member Fred Crawford-City of McRae-Helena, Mike Durden-Milan State Bank, Becky Attaway-Milan State Bank, Liz McLean-Telfair Enterprise.


The article below was submitted by Christina Byrd, 12th Grade-Wheeler County High School:

In the January meeting I learned a lot about decision making and leadership. Although the merging of Helena-McRae was an awesome idea, there were a lot of problems that the leaders of these cities had to resolve. Helena's city hall was moved to McRae's city hall. Helena's software was kept.  Everything was everywhere. By our discussion I realized that a lot of pressure was on these leaders. People look to them to fix these problems. So we as the community need to get involved with the community and see why leaders make the choices they make. We need to know what's going on in our own communities. Pat Ray, County Commissioner, said all votes count and you have to have a desire to help all people. You have to also know how to talk to people. Mrs. Ray also said, "You are who you are, you will be yourself no matter who you are." That really stood out to me. Mike Durden from Milan State Bank said it's very important to know how to reconcile bank accounts. The main thing I learned is that a leader makes mistakes. They are humans as well. Mrs. Anderson said, "A true leader acknowledges the mistake and gets together with others to fix it." I want to be a true leader.

November 17, 2014 Youth Leadership Meeting

The Orianne Society, Jacksonville, GA

The 2014-2015 Telfair-Wheeler Youth Leadership Program met on November 17, 2014 at the Orianne Society. The Orianne Society focuses on managing  and restoring habitats on the Orianne Indigo Snake Preserve located on Hwy 117 near Jacksonville, GA.

The article below was submitted by Willie Coney, 11th Grade- Telfair County High School:

**Snakes. You may look at them as vicious and scary, but others may look at them as helpful animals. Some snakes, not all snakes, help our planet a lot with its resources. That snake is the indigo snake.  This snake is not harmful, it cannot kill you. This snake depends on a lot of other thing like turtle burrows. They need some where to get out the sun, but turtle burrows are declining. In other words we are starting to see less and less turtle burrows. 7 out of 10 of these snakes make it to reproduce, to even get in the burrows. You might see forestry people out burning longleaf grass out in the woods. They are burning it for the snakes. The snakes need longleaf to survive. 98 percent of longleaf is gone in the world. If there is not longleaf grass then the indigo snake population will decrease. That will lead to more dangerous snakes to be out in the world. The indigo snake can eat rattlesnake and another dangerous snakes out there.**

First meeting of the Telfair-Wheeler Youth Leadership Program was held October 6, 2014. The topic was Public Safety.

The article below was submitted by Kerri Cheek, 12th Grade- Wheeler County High School.

**We learned that there is more to what firefighters and police officers do than just what the public believes. Firefighters do more than just fight fires; they do a lot of EMS work, with wrecks. Police officers protect the public, but most of the time they are just in the public to let people know they are there. We also learned how long it takes to become a police officer and fire fighter. They have a lot of training to go through. They must be prepared to help us. We learned about the differences in Volunteer Firefighter and Firefighters. Volunteer Firefighters don't get paid, here as firefighters that are doing it for a living get paid; however, both volunteer firefighters and regular firefighters go through the same exact training. Also having a firefighter station in a certain radius of your home makes your home insurance go down.**

Left to Right: Jeff Hardin, Fire Chief-City of McRae; Alyssa Bagarella, 11th Grade-Telfair County High School; Lee Kirkland, Fire Chief-City of Milan
2014 - 2015 Sponsors

Treasure Level
Little Ocmulgee EMC
26 Railroad Ave.
Alamo, GA 30411
PH:  (912) 568-7171 or (229) 868-7895

Teamwork Level
CCA-McRae Correctional Facility
Milan State Bank
The Merchants & Citizens Bank
The Telfair Enterprise
Willow Creek Drive-In
WYSC - STAR 102.7 FM

Title Level
Robins Federal Credit Union
Routh Realtors, LLC
Southern Charm
Stinson's Bar-B-Que
Village Pizza