Young Leaders learn outside the History books

01 Feb Young Leaders learn outside the History books

Young Leaders of Beaufort is a group of 7th and 8th graders founded by Mayor Billy and organized with the help of area educators.  Each month the students meet for a civic engagement field trip. January’s theme was Preserving Local Culture.

To take the history lesson beyond the text books, YLOB met at Penn Center last week. The classroom for the day was Frissell Hall (formerly used as a library, kitchen and dining room for Penn School day students), The York W. Bailey Museum and the campus grounds shaded by the trees where students sat for lessons over 100 years ago.
“Young Leaders visited Penn Center so we could be inspired to help our community change just like African Americans changed their fate and helped make a better Beaufort and Greater South Carolina by going to Penn School,” said Joseph Maraska - 8th grade.
Students heard from Mayor Billy about his personal experience with Penn School. The group met Executive Director Dr. Rodell Lawrence and Ingrid Owens, Director of History, Arts and Culture. They toured the museum and explored the grounds with a fact finding scavenger hunt. Author David Grim spoke about his book Swift Currents and the race matters in history which it explores. Katie Godowns and Nancy Valdes of Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Department led leadership and communication exercises. In closing, students reflected on what they learned and why it is important to preserve historical sites.

“It is important to keep historical sites maintained because history is bound to repeat itself without them. Also, it shows people what built today’s society. The Penn Center represents equality and shows how race nor religion matters in a perfect world. My experience at the Penn Center allowed me to realize howimportant racial equality is,” said Cady Wilson - 8th grade.

Thank you Penn Center for hosting Young Leaders of Beaufort!


For information about visiting Penn Center, contact: 

Ingrid Owens, Director of History, Arts and Culture at