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Young Republicans are about more than politics

Wonderful things can happen when a group of Christian teens come together to serve others. The Lincoln County Teenage Republicans chapter at Brookhaven Academy is a great example of that.

“The main goals of our local chapter are to encourage community volunteerism, foster leadership, and to work with local state and national Republican parties,” said Loree Coleman, sponsor of the LCTR BA chapter.

Coleman served as a teacher and librarian at Brookhaven Academy for many years before taking another job this year to teach kindergarten at Franklin County. However, she will continue her role as sponsor for the private school’s chapter.

Since fall 2012, Coleman’s goal has been to keep the Brookhaven Academy chapter active and not just in politics. The philanthropic teenagers have served at the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League and Lincoln Civic Center to help with the Veterans Day Program, Operation Christmas Child, the Doll’s House, and so much more.

They have also made fond memories together working with others in the Republican Party. They served as team leaders for each of the Republican candidates when election season first started, volunteered at events with U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper when he visited Lincoln County, and even provided labor and support to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after that area was ravaged by floods in August.

Most of the young Republicans have racked up more than 100 community service hours and some have been awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award multiple times because of their continued community involvement, Coleman said.

She’s extremely proud of their achievements and that’s the main reason she wants to stay on as their sponsor even while working at another school. “I can’t leave that behind and I do not want to leave that [responsibility] with someone else because it’s near and dear to my heart,” Coleman said.

To accommodate everyone’s schedule, she plans to move their meetings to the evenings. They’ll continue to do community service and volunteering the same as before.

Above all, the organization’s goal is to serve others, she said. “It doesn’t matter how wealthy you are… you can always do something to help someone else,” she said.

Many students at Brookhaven Academy have grown up with those Christian values. The chapter has also grown with the support of strong Brookhaven Republican women like Commissioner of Agriculture Cindy Hyde-Smith, Rep. Becky Currie, Sen. Sally Doty, and others. “They’re all from here [Brookhaven] and they are outstanding leaders for our state. They have helped [this chapter] tremendously,” Coleman said.

Although it is hard to walk away from working at Brookhaven Academy, Coleman said many of the students she works with in the chapter are now seniors. She knew most of them since they started at BA, and it makes it a little easier for her to work somewhere else knowing that they are moving on to the next chapter in their lives as well.

Photo by Orionna Brumfield/Loree Coleman, far right, explains the future goals to some of her seniors in the Lincoln County Teenage Republicans chapter.  With Coleman are Macey Lea (left), Jaden Clark, Julianna Mills and Missy Clanton.

Photo by Orionna Brumfield/Loree Coleman, far right, explains the future goals to some of her seniors in the Lincoln County Teenage Republicans chapter. With Coleman are Macey Lea (left), Jaden Clark, Julianna Mills and Missy Clanton.