Graduation held for Leadership Lauderdale Class of 2019

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Over 25 community members earned their recognition Tuesday for their participation in Leadership Lauderdale 2019.

“This class was such an amazing experience,” says Jamie Bonner, who works for Pigford & Corey Realtors. “I’m not originally from Lauderdale County, so I was able to go out into the community and learn all kinds of things I never knew about Lauderdale County; I’m truly thankful for this experience.”

Graduates represented various fields across Lauderdale County, including government and private industries.

“It’s been a great experience getting to know the progress that Meridian has come along,” says Dan Confait, the owner of DC Guitar Studio. “I grew up here in Meridian, but moved off and came back, and getting to know the progress and the development that Lauderdale County is coming together, it’s truly fascinating.”

Some graduates made speeches at the ceremony about their experience with Leadership Lauderdale and what they have learned from being part of the program.

“My favorite thing was getting to see the ‘Go, See, Hear’s.’ We got to go to different businesses and learn about different things that are in Meridian that even growing up here I didn’t know about, so that was sort of an eye-opening experience for me,” Confait says.

Graduates we spoke to say being a part of Leadership Lauderdale was a worthwhile experience.

“We got to go to the Naval Air Station, Air National Guard, Van Zyverden, just some really cool places,” Bonner says. “I felt like we were VIP’s with a back stage pass into these facilities.”

Leadership Lauderdale began over twenty years ago. Participants of the program learn leadership skills and the importance of community involvement throughout the program.