Twenty GSW Students Selected for President Jimmy Carter’s Leadership Program

By Chelsea Collins

AMERICA – Southwest Georgia State University (GSW) appointed twenty freshmen to the President Jimmy Carter’s Leadership Program, created to honor the legacy of former GSW student and former US President Jimmy Carter. These students from Georgia, Alabama and Florida are the third group to join the program since its inception in 2019.

“This is a dynamic group of diverse people who bring enthusiasm and commitment to developing their knowledge of service and leadership through hands-on experiences,” said Mikela Barlow, Acting Coordinator of the President Jimmy Carter’s leadership program. “The new cohort members were selected through an application and interview process. The group is committed to meeting the program requirements which include a two-year residency, 240 hours of service, a leadership certificate, and a senior research or service project. It is an honor for me to work with these future leaders in this prestigious program.

The 2021-2022 recipients of the Carter Leadership Program are:

  • Miranda Brannon – Seminole County High School, Donalsonville, Georgia.
  • Tim Burke – Houston County High School, Kathleen, Georgia.
  • Ashley Carag – Howard High School, Macon, Georgia.
  • Kayla Crisp – Sequoyah High School, Canton, Georgia.
  • Alex Espitia – Baker County High School, Newton, Georgia.
  • Henderson Hurdle – Mount De Sales Academy, Macon, Georgia.
  • Angel Jarvis – Metter High School, Metter, Georgia.
  • Natasha Jones – Randolph-Clay High School, Cuthbert, Georgia.
  • Regan Lee – West Nassau High School, Callahan, Florida.
  • Savannah McKleroy – Kathleen, Georgia.
  • Chase Moore – George Jenkins High School, Lakeland, Florida.
  • McKenzie Norton – Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School, Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Emily Plank – Port Saint Lucie High School, Port Saint Lucie, Florida.
  • Abi Richey – Pataula Charter Academy, Edison, Georgia.
  • Shy’neshia Salter – Early County High School, Blakely, Georgia.
  • Jayden Sims – Westover Comprehensive High School, Albany, Georgia.
  • Dréa Singleton – Brookstone School, Columbus, Georgia.
  • Sean Siwek – Catholic High School in Tampa, Lithia, Florida.
  • Shaniah Tolbert – Early County High School, Blakely, Georgia.
  • Abigail White – Worth County High School, Poulan, Georgia.

“I have always had a close attachment to Georgia Southwestern, and I am honored to be associated with the University’s leadership program,” said President Carter. “They invested in me as a student over 75 years ago, and I want to do the same for future leaders in our region.”

The program consists of two tracks, an undergraduate research track and a service track, which exemplify Carter’s life of leadership in education, politics, and community service. Guided by the evidence-based “Social Change Model of Leadership Development”, the four-year Carter Leadership Program enables students to develop their leadership skills both individually and as part of a group.

Students who achieve a minimum of 1,100 on the SAT or an ACT composite score of 22, hold a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher, and have been admitted to GSW are eligible to apply to the program. In addition, students who occupy a leadership role in high school, whether on a sports team, student club or community organization, are also eligible.

“These students are the best in their class,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “I enjoyed seeing them interact with their peers on campus and serve others within our community. I have no doubts that they will continue to carry on President Carter’s great legacy. “

In their first year, students will focus on individual growth and development, working to understand their own beliefs and values. The second year will explore the role of the group, how to build trust with others and how to work collaboratively towards common goals.

In the third year, students will choose between the study-oriented research track and the service-learning oriented service track. During the fourth and final year, students will develop a higher research or service project depending on their background.

The Carter Leadership Program offers students academic scholarships ranging from $ 1,500 to $ 3,500 each year they participate in the program. The program is made possible by the generous support of the Charles L. Mix Memorial Fund.

The deadline to apply for the fall admission program is February 1 of each year.


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Kevin E. Boling

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