CHRIS KIEFFER: Shannon graduate gets national recognition for her leadership

When Shannon High School graduate Alicia King attends a national leadership conference in July, her $250 registration fee will be covered.
That’s because King is one of 25 high school students in the country to receive the John W. Harris Leadership Award. The award is given by the National Beta Club to recognize students with proven leadership skills and service to school and community.
Recipients are given a scholarship to attend the Broyhill Leadership Conference in Gaffney, S.C., for free, held July 21-25.
“We’re talking about the best of the best of the entire club in the country,” said Vicki Crumpton, sponsor of the Shannon High School Beta chapter.
“You can count on her to be there any time we have a meeting. You can count on her to give great ideas, and that is what makes her valuable to any organization.”
King has been heavily involved with many service projects, but the most noticeable is the “Garments for Girls” program she created as a freshman. Twice a year, she collects clothing from people in her neighborhood – or from her own closet – and brings it to people in need.
“I think it is important to lead and also to sit back and watch others lead and learn from them,” King said.
King has also volunteered weekly at a local nursing home – giving manicures and pedicures, reading, playing bingo and doing many other activities with the residents. She is a summer volunteer in the Home Work Helpers Program, which helps kindergarten to fourth-grade students with reading and math skills.
Crumpton said King’s energy was vital when the club initiated an Operation Christmas Child drive, in which shoe boxes were filled with items for children.
“What really stands out is her willing attitude,” Crumpton said. “Teens are wrapped up in their world and their desires, but she is against the norm.
“She is about noticing people who need help and then being willing to step up and give them help.”
King is one of six Shannon Beta members or recent graduates who will attend the leadership conference. That list also includes graduate C.J. Montgomery, rising seniors Kayla Ruff and Carlie Moon and rising juniors Canary Brooks and Zederick Nabors.
Crumpton said she believes the conference has been valuable for her students over the years because of the skills it fosters.
“They open up to each other and talk about things that could have hindered or developed leadership skills in different situations,” Crumpton said.
King was one of three Mississippi high school students to receive the scholarship, along with Kayla Bates of Union High School and Owen Terry of West Jones.
She will attend Itawamba Community College in the fall, and she plans to study radiology. She hopes to eventually enroll at Southern Miss or Mississippi State and get a degree in sonography.
“I’m going to miss her terribly,” Crumpton said.

Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal