By Leah Allen
BC Staff Writer
The Grammy Museum Mississippi hosted the first meeting of the year for the Youth Leadership Council Monday.
The program helps connect area students from grades 10 through 12 with local and regional mentors.
The two main goals of the program are to “encourage development of leadership skills and inspire area youth to become involved in the community,” said museum director Emily Havens.
Havens said that the program brings “students from different backgrounds together to positively impact each other and their community.”
Over the course of their time in the program she said that students will learn about “music, the entertainment industry and the museum field” including how to lead tours.
They will also gain a better understanding of “how Mississippi shaped American music and why Cleveland, MS, is the home of Grammy Museum Mississippi” she added.
Students in the program are also responsible for planning the annual Youth Leadership Council Music Showcase as well as other events throughout the year.
This will be the third year for the program, which has been growing steadily.
“When the Grammy was first being discussed, the Rotary Club was looking for a way that we could support the museum. We talked about a number of different ways we could help but what we settled on was helping the youth. The idea of the leadership program was hatched and Lucy Janoush, who was spearheading things, just loved it,” said Ben Bufkin, who was serving as Rotary president at the time.
Bufkin and the other Rotarians wanted to support the program as much as possible after its creation as well.
“Of course Rotary gives money but our members also give their time. We invite the students to Rotary programs so they can talk to members about the experiences they have had. We also want to share the leadership skills we have developed as Rotarians here in the community. We think it’s a great program and we hope that it goes on for years,” he said.
“I think that this is an amazing opportunity that the students here have that no one else in the country does and that is to have this type of experience associated with the Grammy Museum. They are becoming the next leaders of Cleveland or wherever they go. No other school in the country has that opportunity because no other schools have a Grammy Museum like this,” Dr. Edwin Craft, current president of the Rotary Club.