Gulfport teens learn team-building, leadership as part of mayor's council

Gulfport teens learn team-building, leadership as part of mayor's council

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Programs like the Gulfport Mayor's Youth Council help ease the stress of those busy years of high school. On Wednesday, this year's group met for a team-building exercise that was geared towards having fun and getting to know one another.

Some of Gulfport's best and brightest high schoolers spent the evening getting to know each other while also breaking a bit of sweat at Altitude Trampoline Park.

"I hope to get out of here in order to understand the community and understand each and everyone that's here today," said Harrison Central High School senior Christopher Johnson.

Johnson is this year's council president. His college application to West Point included his membership on the council.

"They were like, 'Wow, you're really part of the Gulfport Mayor's Youth Council? That's amazing!'" said Johnson. "I was like, 'Yes ma'am. It was awesome.' They loved how this is building me, especially getting to know one another and build leadership."

West Harrison High School senior Bobby Hudson is serving as an advisor to these students. This is his third year working with the council.

"There's so many different outlets and opportunities available just through this program itself," said Hudson. "Chris and Rebecca have opened so many doors for us. It's so many different workshops, trainings that we learn from, that we benefit from. Our leadership skills are enhanced each and every year."

This marks the third year since the program was created to help young adults build leadership skills and make a positive change in South Mississippi.

"It's an incredible group of kids," said Gulfport spokesman Chris Vignes. "They work on service projects. They volunteer. It's just an outstanding group."

It was almost impossible to watch everyone jumping around without wanting to jump in yourself. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes and his wife Paula were caught bouncing around also.

In March, the council will head to Jackson for the 11th annual statewide Youth Leadership Summit. The students also take part in a number of community service activities throughout the year.

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