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Youth Leadership Oklahoma Class 16

Youth Leadership Oklahoma (YLOK) was created in 2001 with the mission to develop young leaders who feel hope, pride and responsibility for Oklahoma’s future. Each YLOK class is selected through a competitive process based on proven leadership in their schools and communities, geographic, ethnic and cultural diversity.

This year, 51 of the state’s top high school juniors participated in this one-of-a-kind leadership opportunity. From June 5-10, 2016, the rising high school seniors, with Youth Director, Lee Anne Stone, and other chaperones, traveled across Oklahoma hearing from state leaders, witnessing first-hand Oklahoma’s tremendous resources, learning the issues that affect our state and spending time discovering Oklahoma’s many treasures.

During the week, the students traveled to Oklahoma City, Norman, Lawton/Ft. Sill, Sulphur, Tulsa, Stillwater and Enid where they learned lessons about leadership, trust, problem solving, communications, cooperation,  but most importantly,  “why Oklahoma is such a great place to live and work”.

Along the way, the class visited the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Hall of Fame to get a taste of Oklahoma’s finest treasures, its people; the Chickasaw Cultural Center, discovering about our Native American heritage; and the Oklahoma National Memorial, where the students participated in a Forensics Lab and learned more in depth about the Oklahoma City bombing.

Class members toured Eskimo Joe’s Printing Press in Stillwater and Tulsa Educare where they had the opportunity to learn about the importance of early childhood education and what is being done to help low income families in this area. The students also toured Fab Lab in Tulsa and visit 36 Degrees North, a basecamp of sorts for entrepreneurs. Also in Tulsa, students were able to tour Guthrie on the Green and participate in diversity training from the Oklahoma Center for Community Justice.

Students were given the opportunity to visit with doctors and hospital staff at St. Mary’s Regional Health Center in Enid and heard about the benefits of being a doctor in a rural town. They also visited the newly renovated Leonardo’s Children’s Museum in Enid where they had the chance to be a kid for a morning.

The class got an eye-opening glimpse of the" life of a soldier” at Ft. Sill where they participated in physical training with drill sergeants, toured the Joint Fire and Effects Training System Facility and earned a greater appreciation for our military men and women.

They bonded and learned about their leadership styles during a Ropes Course at the University of Oklahoma and a “You Zoo” leadership activity. They picked each other’s brains during a rousing session on the justice system with Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice, Jim Winchester at Sarkeys Foundation in Norman.

Participants also learned the success stories of Oklahoma businesses: Eskimo Joe’s in Stillwater, Wayne’s Drive In and Saxum in Oklahoma City. They also had the chance to tour the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Cameron University and heard more about the admissions process and what they need to be preparing for now for the future. In addition, students spent time in Stockyard City in downtown Oklahoma City and dined at the legendary Cattleman’s.

The week concluded at the State Capitol with a mock legislative session in the House Chamber were students had the chance to see what it is like to be a legislator and debate a bill on the House floor. Lastly, at their graduation luncheon held at the Oklahoma History Center, the YLOK experience was capped off with a wonderful lunch and skits performed by the students about their time during YLOK.

By learning about Oklahoma’s history, culture, issues and leaders, YLOK participants develop a greater understanding and an immense appreciation of our great state.



Pranshu Adhikari Norman High School
Chelsea Anderson Warner High School
Robert Anderson Muldrow High School
Brady Bell Norman North High School
Jodi Butler Idabel High School
Marielle Buttram Tecumseh High School
Miguel Chavez Western Heights High School
Jay Clardy Haworth High School
Marybeth Colpitts Bishop Kelley HS
Graham Cox Duncan High School
Blair Dieterlen Holland Hall High School
Jose Diosado Clinton High School
Brenden Dominick Stillwater High School
Russell Drummond Bartlesville High School
Charlotte Edmonds Bishop McGuiness High School
David Emesiani Putnam City High School
Lane Fanning Laverne High School
Andee Beth Fitts Duncan High School
Emily Grim Perry High School
Abby Gwin Enid High School
Chase Harrison Heritage Hall High School
Reece Henry Altus High School
Drew Hill Norman North High School
Bailey Howard Frederick High School
Dutton Hughes Bishop Kelley HS
Amy Huyen Classen School of Advanced Studies
Grace Jackson Homeschooled
Kelsey Janway Heavener High School
Sarah Kraft Hooker High School
Kelsey Lauerman Cushing High School
Patricia Liu Edmond North High School
Mia Mamone Noble High School
Cathy Mapes Alva High School
Ethan McGill Barnsdall High School
Grace Meinders Woodward High School
Ellen Melton Norman High School
Aaron Mendelson Lawton High School
Caleb Morrow Altus High School
Kevin Ngo Westmoore High School
Connor Olson Deer Creek High School
Ari Papahronis Edmond North High School
Dylan Portillo Guymon High School
Lindsey Randall Regent Prepartory School of Oklahoma

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