Young leaders experience real-world skills


MaryCarr Eastman

STARKVILLE, Miss., February 11, 2020 – Oktibbeha Young Leaders worked on growing their leadership skills within the community. They visited Renasant Bank and returned to the Partnership to learn about mental health and public speaking after receiving their CPR certifications at OCH. 

Jaden Eddie, a sophomore at Starkville High School, was excited to be able to learn more about life skills throughout the day and how to reap the benefits of each lesson. 

“Last week was such a wonderful opportunity to better our lives and to help us become more successful. It showed me how to manage money, how to react in emergency situations, kill stress and communicate with others, Eddie said. 

Eddie also spoke to Rotary about last week’s trip this past Monday. 

Students began their day at the partnership planning their community service project for April 25. They then went to Renaissance Bank to learn more about finance and budgeting to help them plan ahead. 

At OCH, nurse, Kathleen Hilbun taught CPR to students and taught them how to react in emergency situations. OCH provided not only adult dummies but also infant practice models.  

Getting certified was the most exciting part of the day for Bo Carter, a member of OYL and sophomore at Starkville Academy. 

“My favorite part of the day was the CPR class. They helped me learn what do if an emergency situation occurs, Carter said. 

After getting CPR certified, the young leaders returned to the Partnership to learn more about their mental health in a workshop provided by MSU students. Students learned stress management, pros and cons of a nap, and recognizing symptoms in others. 

Eddie found the workshop very beneficial and believes it can help others who are struggling to be able to work on themselves while also helping others. 

“I found the workshop very beneficial because you can’t just be physically healthy, you must have a good mindset as well. Many people’s down fall is that their mindsets aren’t strong enough to achieve their goals. These people are working to change that, Eddie said. 

Professor, Ned Browning, later spoke to the students about improving their public speaking abilities. Students finished the day by going around the table and speaking about what they had learned throughout the day. 

Carter was also very grateful for the opportunity to work more on his public speaking skills with Browning. 

“It was so beneficial and helped me feel more comfortable speaking in front of others, which I wasn’t before, Carter said. 

Starkville’s Oktibbeha Young Leaders enjoyed getting to not only learn skills that will have life-long benefits but also getting to learn more about the mental health of themselves and others and how to deal with them.