• 11:35 am Updated news about Bladen County Election Investigations
  • 8:10 am Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving
  • 11:04 pm This Day in History for January 24
  • 10:50 pm Saturday’s Lil Knights Results
  • 10:44 pm Three Rivers Conference Basketball Tournament Schedule
  • 4:58 pm Bladen County business helping federal employees

By Erin Smith

There was an air of excitement in the auditorium at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office in Elizabethtown on Thursday. Several Bladen County students were recognized Thursday afternoon during the Bladen County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council’s annual Youth Recognition Banquet.

Several youth were unable to attend due to their class scheduling.

The youth who were receiving recognition or graduating from programs were given certificates and backpacks to mark the occasion. The Life Skills award was presented to Hayden Munn, Alicia Moultrie, Ranier Simmons, Damonty Davis, Marcus Banes, Andre Cotten, Jordan Robinson, Damian Jackson, Micah Cromartie, and Wilson Norton.

The Supportive Services for Students and Parents recognition went to Hayden Munn, Alicia Moultrie, Ranier Simmons, Damonty Davis.

Those graduating from the Gang Resistance Education & Training (GREAT) program were Savion West, Damian Pone, Larissa Jackson, and Kelsey Williams.

Teen Court graduates were Dylan Nance and Cody Cruz.

The guest speaker for the luncheon was Bladen County Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.  He stated the day was about the students who were being recognized for putting their best efforts into their time with the Life Skills classes, Teen Court and others.

“It does take a community effort,” said Dr. Taylor.

He encouraged the parents who were in attendance to make an investment in the child’s education. To talk with teachers and principals and to be involved in their child’s learning as they progress through their school years.

“I hope our young folks have learned about making good decisions,” said Dr. Taylor.

He recounted how one group of fourth grade students decided to bring a drink called “Lean” or “Dirty Sprite” to school. The particular in which the incident courted consisted of 32 students. Dr. Taylor said of those 32 students, 23 decided they would try the drink.

“I applaud those nine students who stood up against their peers. The hope is they learned how to say no and make good decisions,” said Dr. Taylor.

He reminded everyone not to allow someone else’s idea of who you should be control you. Dr. Taylor said second chances are important and needed.

“Take advantage of those chances you get,” said Dr. Taylor.

He reminded the students who were present that getting an education is their number one job right now.