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City Now Accepting Applications for Suwanee Youth Leaders Class of 2019

Post Date:11/06/2018 2:39 PM

Now in its sixth year, the award-winning Suwanee Youth Leaders (SYL) program is accepting applications for its nine-month leadership program for high school sophomores and juniors. SYL is open to students who live in the North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge, and Collins Hill clusters, as well as home school and private school students who reside within those clusters. The program centers on civic involvement, leadership skills, and volunteer opportunities.

The 2019 SYL program kicks off with a mandatory two-day retreat in the spring. Students then meet one Saturday each month March through October and are expected to volunteer at several community events which may include the August Concert, two Food Truck Friday events, Suwanee Fest, and Arts in the Park.

Applications are available at and are due by December 1. For more information about SYL, contact Adam Edge at or Denise Brinson at 


“The partnership with the City of Suwanee and Suwanee Youth Leaders provides an outstanding opportunity for our student leaders to learn about civic engagement. The program that Suwanee has created teaches critical soft skills, teamwork protocols, and ultimately event production that kids do not get to learn in traditional classroom settings.  Not only do they get to work with and learn from amazing adults, but they also network with students from other clusters to create a collaborative relationship that makes all of our schools better.”

- Kirsten Baker - Assistant Principal, Leadership Development, North Gwinnett High School


“What did I get from the program? Honestly: my voice. When I applied to SYL, I was really shy and timid; I had never done anything like this before. I was afraid to even apply for fear of rejection. Even after being accepted into the program, I was terrified to come to the first meeting. Over time my confidence grew because of this program and the people in it. I was encouraged to do things I would have never done by myself, pushing past my limits and discovering this whole new level of myself that I didn't know of before. My biggest, proudest moment was spontaneously becoming the emcee of the Suwanee Fest Parade. Taking the microphone with no fear made me realize how much I had grown over the past few months.”

- Zarah Punjwani - Senior, Peachtree Ridge High School

“One of the most impactful lessons I learned at SYL is, “If not you, then who?” This simply means that if you are not going to make change, then who will? Our leaders talked about the values that they believe made them who they are today, and how we can discover our own values and carry them out as leaders ourselves. Through SYL I have had the chance to grow as a leader, and as a person.”

- Grant Kersey - Senior, North Gwinnett High School


“One of my favorite experiences in SYL was volunteering at Food Truck Friday, which I helped plan! It was so awesome getting to see something I'd put time and effort into come to fruition and be such a wonderful success! SYL has been different from other leadership programs I've participated in because the program affords so much more time and development. At every monthly meeting we discussed the importance of becoming better people and better leaders in order to be a more positive impact on our communities. Everything starts from within; the goal was never to force ourselves to be leaders, but to become leaders.”

- Lily Zhang - Senior, North Gwinnett High School

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