Shorecrest junior Brenna Dukes has been selected for the Youth Leadership Pinellas (YLP) Program for the 2019-2020 school year. Founded in 1998, Youth Leadership Pinellas is a series of interactive days designed to educate high school teens on community resources and issues, develop an excellence in leadership, build teamwork skills, and foster involvement in community services. Only 40 students are selected for each YLP class.
YLP is a seven-month program operating from October through April. Students engage in six full-day sessions, plus an orientation retreat and graduation dinner. During each program day, the students have the opportunity to meet community decision makers and to engage them in frank, off-the-record discussions on current issues.
YLP has a highly competitive selection process where students who apply must meet eligibility requirements, prepare a comprehensive application, provide letters of recommendation, and participate in a panel interview.
Brenna has established herself as a community leader both inside and outside of school. Passionate about civil rights and political activism, she has organized voter registration drives on the Shorecrest campus and led a student group for National School Walkout to protest for gun reform. She was recently appointed to the Pinellas Youth Advisory Committee of the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners. Brenna participated in the recent Climate Change Rally at City Hall and has championed the adoption of reusable water bottles in the Experiential and Lower Schools through her work as the Vice President of the Shorecrest Environmental Club.
Brenna is a member of the Chargers Swim & Dive team, a participant in Model UN, and is the Co-President of SPARC, a student partnership with PARC - an organization that provides artistic and professional opportunities to adults and children with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
In addition to serving at the school and city level, Brenna works to extend her reach beyond the boundaries of the Tampa Bay Area. For example, she participated in the school's Service Week trip to the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota in 2019.
“Brenna exemplifies what it means for our students to develop social responsibility both inside and outside the classroom and to develop and use their voices to change society for the better,” says Shorecrest Director of Service Learning Diego Duran-Medina.
A National Honor Society member, Brenna will graduate Shorecrest in 2021.