Tyrell Long, a York Comprehensive High School senior, knows that leadership can be a lot of work. But Long said he wants to do it to help and inspire those around him.
“It’s good to be able to help people who maybe can’t help themselves,” said Long, 18, who enjoyed bringing holiday food and gifts to families living in the impoverished Blackmon Road community of York County.
“When you see that look on a child’s face, you want to do something to keep that look on their face,” Long said about that experience, which was part of York County YouLead, a youth leadership program.
Long, the son of Yolanda and Harry Long of Hickory Grove, has been named the Catawba region’s Technology Champion by the Catawba Regional Education Center. Long was chosen the 2011 award winner from nominees submitted by the six school districts in York, Chester and Lancaster counties.
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Long, who plans to attend Wofford College in the fall, will be one of 12 regional technology champions across the state who will be recognized June 24 at the annual state education and business summit in Greenville.
“He is probably our best representative in the past four years that I’ve been doing this,” said Lisa Robbins, coordinator of the regional education center in Rock Hill. “He has just an extensive experience in community service and assisting others, and in leadership roles.”
The award, given to students enrolled in a career and technology program, is based on student attendance, community service and work-based experience, such as shadowing or an internship, she said. Other criteria include GPA, class rank and leadership.
Long completed a work-based learning internship under Ginger Hill, a marketing teacher at York Comprehensive. Long also has a 4.52 grade point average and ranks in the top 3 percent of his class, the highest of all the nominees from the Catawba region, Robbins said.
Long is president of the honor society and math society Mu Alpha Theta. He’s a member of the English and Spanish honor societies, National Technical Honor Society, DECA, served as a technology team ambassador and attended Boy’s State. He’s a junior scholar, junior marshal and a track athlete.
He also is a teacher cadet and member of the student council and the senior steering committee. He volunteers for Special Olympics, Tender Hearts, the York parks department and the Children’s Attention Home.
He said it’s not easy to keep track of all of his activities. In fact, Long makes a to-do list every day and once a week. “I manage to do it because time management is everything,” he said.
Long said he wants to study the statistical aspect of marketing and use that in the business world. He said he also has encouraged other students to take leadership roles.
“You never know what might happen,” he said.
Long said he has two younger brothers, 12 and 7, and wants to be a role model. “I try to show them I’m not doing things that are negative, so I feel like they can have something to look up to,” he said.