Level-UP, a 10-week youth leadership development program of the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department, finished up with a second graduation on Aug. 19.

Audrey Simmons, program director and assistant center manager for the Mack Gaston Community Center, believes "Level-UP's growth is due to a collaborative effort of community mentors, agencies and leaders.

"In Level-UP, our philosophy is to cultivate existing potential in youth by developing their leadership skills," Simmons said. "Our four principles are integrity, attitude, vision and commitment. In exchange, they will use these principles for the common good, in their community, schools, jobs and social groups."

Twelve youth committed to the intense curriculum. Level-UP has a five-point structure that sharpens individual potential through personal development, leadership training, academic skills training, mentorship and community service.

The 2019 second semester graduates are Zion Broome, Ryder Burse, Evan Hood, Olivia Moore, Devanshi Patel, Dhayai Patel, Dylan Patel, Sovil Patel, Gerriyah Raines, Jamir Timmons, Kiara Torres and Trey Young.

The third and last session of this year will begin on Sept. 23. The program cost is $50. New mentors are needed. If you are interested, call the community center at (706) 278-8205 or (706) 463-2414.

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