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Local student taking initiative to raise funds to attend leadership conference

One local student is selling homemade pies and baked goods to raise money to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington D.C. this summer.

According to its website, the Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) is the premier leadership development program for middle school students.

“I got the invite about one month ago,” said Callaway Middle School student Chadwick Williams. “My teacher, Ms. Freda Weldon, nominated me for the leadership I’ve shown in my school.” 

Williams participates in several leadership opportunities at CMS, including serving as a student ambassador for the school. 

“This is my second year doing that, where I am the one who helps give tours and be there for new students,” Williams said. “I help with pep rallies and give the pledge every day. I also represent the school when I go do community activities or service within the community.” 

Williams said he has been a 4.0 student for the past three years. 

“I was really excited when I found out I was invited to this conference,” Williams said. “I thought it was a big honor that I was recognized for my leadership qualities.” 

The conference costs $2,494 to attend and Williams has already raised $700 of that. 

On Saturday Feb. 29, Williams will be selling slices of pies, whole pies and other baked goods from noon to 5 p.m. outside of A1 Cutz by the Food Depot at 900 Hogansville Road in LaGrange. 

“I am helping my mom and grandma make them,” Williams said. 

“I hope the community helps support me as a young person because the younger generation is our future. This conference will help me develop stronger leadership skills and help me excel in high school and beyond.” 

During the week-long conference students will be immersed in a collaborative project, where they will create an action-oriented organization to create positive change at their schools and in their communities. 

Williams will also get the chance to hear from Anthony Robles, who was born with one leg and became a three-time all-American wrestler and the 2011 NCAA 125-pound national champion. 

Also, while in D.C., Williams will get to take a trip to Capitol Hill and hear from former members of Congress.

“I am excited to be around other like-minded individuals, who also have a drive for education and leadership skills,” Williams said. “I am also excited to see Washington D.C. and see the history.” 

Williams also has a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the conference. To donate to the page, search “Chadwick’s invite” at gofundme.com.