Dublin students take top prize at TMCN

The Dublin High School youth leadership group claimed first prize for the first time during the Texas Midwest Community Network’s annual meeting in Abilene on Oct. 24. 

The leadership competition invites high school juniors from TMCN’s 51 communities to pick a project to aid their town. 

The top award was presented to Dublin group members Curtis Adams, Seth McDonald and Jared Ricks for the work they did in “Project MKT Train Station” which centered on  phase one of the restoration of the Katy railroad depot. This prize comes with a $2,000 scholarship to be split among the group’s three members.

“As the sponsoring organization, the Dublin EDC is thrilled that the hard work done by the Student Leaders was acknowledged and rewarded by the Texas Midwest Community Network,” EDC Executive Director Karen Wright said. “The kids picked a very ambitious project and, with the help of the City of Dublin, community volunteers Ben Pate and Tom Gordon, as well as student volunteers, they had a huge impact on this historic building.” 

Phase one of the depot’s restoration included the replacement of the roof, which was handled by the City through insurance, and the restoration or replacement of windows, doors and flooring. The students worked on the project, with the help of community volunteers, from March to September.

“Some work days were frigid cold and some were blistering heat and all work days were dirty,” Wright said. “But they can be very proud of what they accomplished.”

Phase two of the restoration, taken up by City and community volunteers, will include exterior work, such as painting and restoration of the brick walkways outside the building. Because of EDC laws, the EDC’s involvement with the project has to end, except in cases of grants for facade work.

This is the third year that Dublin High School students have participated in the leadership program, with the first group renovating the miniature golf course at the City park and the second opting to provide smoke detectors and visible lettering for any Dublin home that needed them, as well as CPR training. The latter group, dubbed “Project Lifesaver,” claimed second place from TMCN last year.

Shawn Bradford, assistant principal at Dublin Secondary School and mentor to the 2018 group, said they hope the next group can continue where this one left off with the depot, but that will depend on what next year’s members decide.

“We are excited to see what next year’s team will do,” Wright said.

Participating youth go through a nine-month program in which they learn to promote their project, identify ways to implement change in their community, develop a community mentorship to inspire others to action and develop and/or complete a community project. 

“Leadership TMCN was created to help inspire high school youth and community leaders to make a commitment toward  excellence in their own community,” Texas Midwest Community Network Executive Director Kathy Keane said.

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