Karoline Keith with Ashe County Board of Commissioners

From left, Commissioner Larry Rhodes, Vice Chairman William Sands, ACHS Senior Karoline Keith, Commissioner Paula Perry, Chairman Todd McNeill and Commissioner Larry Dix pose for a photo before the Ashe County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday, Aug. 5. Keith is attending the N.C. Association of County Commissioners YouthVoice program with board members later in August.

JEFFERSON —Ashe County High School student Karoline Keith spoke on behalf of the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce Dick Miller Leadership Program during the Ashe County Board of Commissioners Meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5.

Keith, a rising senior, participated in the program last fall, and will be attending the N.C. Association of County Commissioners YouthVoice program with the board in Greensboro Aug. 22-24, she said.

“The Dick Miller Youth Leadership Program allowed us the opportunity to visit several different key businesses in our area to learn more about our county’s economy, and the opportunities it provides,” Keith said. “Our first meeting was at the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, we also visited the Upper Mountain Research Station in Laurel Springs, SkyLine Membership Corporation in West Jefferson and The Hotel Tavern in West Jefferson.”

At Upper Mountain, the Dick Miller leadership students learned about agriculture in Ashe County, while they learned about the telecommunication industry at SkyLine and were taught proper dinner etiquette at The Hotel Tavern, according to Keith.

“The Dick Miller Youth Leadership Program has provided me and our group of students with a wonderful opportunity to learn more about what it takes to become a successful leader,” Keith said. “This program has personally given me some great perspective and a new appreciation for our county.”

The commissioners commended the initiative of Keith and other Dick Miller participants. Commissioner Larry Dix, who is also the tennis coach at ACHS, voiced his support for the program.

“Karoline is one of the tennis players I am fortunate enough to coach, and she has also taken on a leadership role this year as a senior on our tennis team of 20 girls so far,” Dix said. “I’ve had several players over the past years that have been involved in the Dick Miller Leadership Program, that is a very good program.”

Commissioner Larry Rhodes said he hopes Ashe County continues to send youth delegates to participate in the N.C. Association of County Commissioners YouthVoice program, and Chairman Todd McNeill said he looked forward to meeting with Keith during the event later in August.

“It’s one of my number one priorities — for us to make Ashe County a place where you want to land when you finish college, or whatever your plan is, we want people like you back here in this community,” McNeill said. “I hope to see you sitting up here in a few years too.”

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