Top 21 High School Students Selected for Outstanding Leadership

(January 24, 2019) Atlanta, GA – 21st Century Leaders, a Georgia-based non-profit youth leadership and talent development program, announces the top 21 youth leaders selected for its annual Georgia Youth Leadership Awards, presented by Turner, to be held on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at the Buckhead Theatre. This year’s event kicks off the 30th year anniversary of 21st Century Leaders.

21st Century Leader’s (21CL), in partnership with this year’s presenting sponsor Turner and other corporate partners and business and civic leaders, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under 40 members, recognizes 21 outstanding high school students throughout Georgia who have made a significant impact on their schools, communities and beyond.

This year’s top 21 includes non-profit founders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, authors, and community advocates who truly represent the diversity of Georgia with students from Atlanta to Swainsboro and Madison County to Muscogee County – all in high school. The nominated students were carefully chosen by a 23-member selection committee; comprised of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under 40 members, 21CL Board of Directors, 21CL corporate volunteers, and 21CL alumni and student peers.

21st Century Leaders is proud to announce the following 21 outstanding youth leaders for the 2019 Georgia Youth Leadership Awards:

1. Elizabeth Adkins, sophomore at Morgan County High School
2. Olamide Zarya Ajasin, senior at The New School
3. Jenna Benedict, junior at Woodward Academy
4. Apaar Bhatnagar, junior at Northview High School
5. James Bolden, senior at North Springs Charter High School
6. Cori Brown, junior at A.R. Johnson Science and Engineering Magnet School
7. Caylin Carter, senior at Benjamin Hardaway High School
8. Gautam Desai, junior at Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
9. Alexis Gaines, junior at Charles R. Drew Charter School
10. Michael Garcia, junior at Cherokee High School
11. Matthew George, senior at Cambridge High School
12. Nina Giddens, senior at Westlake High School
13. Kendall Henry, senior at Westlake High School
14. Jordan Jackson, junior at Luella High School
15. Kailen Kim, junior at Etowah High School
16. Caroline Kraus, senior at Emanuel County Institute
17. Wendy Qiu, senior at Madison County High School
18. Anudeepa Ramachandiran, junior at Duluth High School
19. Ziche (Ava) Wang, senior at The Westminster Schools
20. Kayla Weeks, junior at Telfair County High School
21. Luke Winstel, senior at St. Pius X Catholic High School

The students will be honored at the Georgia Youth Leadership Awards on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at the Buckhead Theatre in Northwest Atlanta. Through corporate sponsors, each youth leader will be presented with a grant, with one student awarded the Turner Voices Innovative Leadership Award – the event’s top award which includes a $1,000 mini-grant from one of the event’s presenting sponsor, Turner.

The evening will also recognize the service of the founding executive director, Robert “Bob” Watson who will be retiring after 29 years of dedicated service and leadership to the organization.

For more information about the Georgia Youth Leadership Awards or to purchase a ticket to the event, please visit Proceeds from the event will support 21CL’s ongoing efforts to provide youth leadership and talent development programs for high school students.

About 21st Century Leaders
Since 1989, 21st Century Leaders has served more than 14,000 diverse high school students from over 250 Georgia high schools. 21st Century Leaders is a collaboration of business and professional leaders inspiring high school students to take on leadership positions, seek out opportunities and give back to their communities by connecting them a diverse group of enthusiastic peers, passionate professionals and powerful ideas, transforming their skills, attitudes, and abilities through training and hands-on experiences.
21st Century Leaders is also currently accepting student applications into their leadership and development program and for their three summer leadership institutes for the 2019 summer. The summer leadership institutes are one-on college campuses hosted by our corporate partners and business professionals. 21CL accepts rising sophomore, juniors and seniors. For more information about 21st Century Leaders, visit

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Rashad Cain
Marketing and Alumni Relations Manager, 21st Century Leaders | 404.373.7441

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