Partners for Pearl River County Leadership Class 2012

Published 2:48 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The 2012 class of Partners for Pearl River County Leadership Program held the graduation ceremony on Friday, May 4th, in The Link at First Baptist Church on Goodyear Boulevard. Congressman Stephen Palazzo was the guest speaker.

The class participated in an intense 10 month course covering all aspects of Pearl River County and produced two class projects to leave as their legacy to the people of the county.

This year’s class divided into two groups and produced two very different projects addressing cancer and drug abuse. Both were personal to the students. They turned their experiences into information to help combat the two issues which affect families in the county a great deal.

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In addition to responsibilities of their families, jobs and the Leadership class activities, most class members participated in other community group projects outside the class such as the March Against Drugs by Pearl River County United Coalition, Adopt a Senior Snowflake drive at Christmas by Community Business Advisory Council and other worthy projects that made the county a better place.

Class member Phyllis Spiers RHIT, HIM Director of Highland Community Hospital, says, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about the infrastructure of Pearl River County and to interact with key community members that you may not ordinarily have an opportunity to meet.”

Class member Alan Lumpkin, Superintendent for Pearl River Central schools in Pearl River County, says, “The leadership skills and networking that I have gained from this class have already been beneficial in my current position. I look forward to staying in touch with my classmates and working towards making Pearl River County the best it can be.”

Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison was among those in attendance for the graduation and said, “I’d like to thank for Partners for Pearl River County for offering this class every year. We send someone each year and the class participants have all told me how they have learned something each year. It is very educational and has a great impact on the community as the graduates go out into the community to effect change.

“I enjoyed the graduation very much and would like to say that I found both topics of the class projects really well developed and executed. The cancer topic with the brochure will benefit the community and issues of drug addiction addressed by the Face the Facts project is very educational. I personally encourage the community to visit the Facebook page at because it is a strong educational tool and testament to the devastation caused by drugs.”

Board members, Darlene Adams and Debbie Benoit expressed their approval of the class projects and achievements through the year.

Adams says, “I am impressed with this year’s class and their heartfelt projects. Our county will be better served by their leadership and knowledge gained from this course. As a board member, I am also grateful for those that coordinated the classes and our sponsors. It’s why this award winning course raises great leadership year after year.”

Benoit says, “As a member of the Partners for PRC board we are excited to see another full class of leaders graduate.

“The number one thing that stands out in the beginning of the class they ask where you would like to see PRC in 10 years and at the end they say go do it. It is very inspirational. It effects your job and how you see your position in the community. Out of all of the leadership classes I have taken this is by far the most thorough and effective in taking (someone) through all of the aspects of community leadership.

“It’s all encompassing; this makes for a well rounded citizen and employee.”

Class member Cynthia Oreaboe, of Hancock Bank in Poplarville, sums up the feelings of this year’s class when she says, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Partners for giving me the opportunity to learn experience and appreciate the needs and concerns of Pearl River County. Because I have learned so much about Pearl River County, I can contribute with the understanding of what our county needs to prosper and move forward. Real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination.

“Class of 2012, we have already made a difference, we have left our projects and presentations behind to carry on in our future generations. We will neither fail nor fall because we are united. Our promise (as) class of 2012 is to keep in touch and stand by our word, which is our bond. May God continue to bless our county.”