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4 students attend leadership conference

  • Special to JCST Kendal White, a student at Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School, and Jennifer Pinckney, wife of the late Sen. Clementa Pinckney.

Ridgeland-Hardeeville High school students Marquez Grant, Kendal White, Nykel Pinckney and Azude Brown (who now attends Step of Faith Christian Academy) returned home ready to lead after a week on Clemson University’s campus attending the South Carolina 4-H Clementa Pinckney Summer Leadership Conference. Nykel Pinckney served as a counselor, assisting adult leaders during the conference.

The weeklong conference brought 30 high school sophomores and juniors from South Carolina to Clemson’s campus for many activities designed to promote teamwork, leadership and citizenship.

Educational sessions focused on understanding various leadership styles and getting to know themselves better. Each participant left the conference with a “vision board” and a plan to make a positive impact on their community.

South Carolina 4-H created the conference last year to honor the late Clementa Pinckney, the pastor and state senator who was among nine churchgoers killed in June 2015 during a Bible study group meeting at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston.

Pinckney was a strong advocate for 4-H, the youth development arm of Clemson University Cooperative Extension. He’s one of the organization’s most notable South Carolina alumni. Senator Clementa Pinckney received the 4-H Distinguished Alumni Medallion from the National 4-H Council last year.

The weeklong conference ended July 29 with a breakfast featuring keynote speaker Sen. Vincent Sheheen, Sen. Pinckney’s deskmate in the S.C. Senate.

South Carolina 4-H offers the Pinckney Leadership Conference annually to rising South Carolina sophomores and juniors. Applications for the 2018 conference will be due in April.

For more information about the 2018 Pinckney Leadership Conference, contact Felicia Cunningham, Jasper County 4-H agent, at 843-726-3461 ext. 113 or fc@clemson.edu.

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