Cole: Child Advocacy Center is focused on prevention

Emily Cole, a founding board member of the Carroll County Child Advocacy Center, updated the club on progress the nonprofit has made in its few short years.

“First of all, thank you for your support as a club,” she said, referring to the last ticole-emilyme she spoke to the club in 2013 along Carrollton Police Chief Jeff Richards when they traveled the civic club circuit seeking support for the organization. According to its website, the center “exists to champion the needs of sexually, physically, and emotionally abused children in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties through prevention, intervention and collaboration.”

So far this year, Cole said 182 clients had been interviewed, with 170 being children. She noted the center also serves adults with intellectual disabilities when needed. In August, 18 interviews were conducted, all children, featuring this breakdown: 9 each male and female; 9 age 6 and younger; 15 for sexual abuse cases; 12 interviewed were white. Cole noted the demographic actuality may not fit the community perception of the victims.

Cole also noted that of the 170 cases documented this year, 48 were child-on-child abuses, bringing forth a sad reality.

“In addition to being the perpetrator, these children were also victims,” she said. “They had to learn this behavior from someone else.”

Cole said she is especially proud of the prevention efforts the center provides. Darkness to Light’s “Stewards of Children” curriculum, a two-hour training session, is offered free of charge thanks to the generous supporters of the organization. This training for adults teaches them how to prevent, recognize and appropriately respond to child sexual abuse.

“We are now 80 percent of the way of training 10 percent of the population,” she said.

 

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Chapman: ‘grassroots’ initiatives set for the Arts Center

chapman-timTim Chapman, the new superintendent of the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center, shared with the club his background and experience and why he came to Carrollton. The Valdosta na-tive held a similar role in Statesboro for 15 years and said the similarities between States-boro and Carrollton made the opportunity here very attractive. One of the key initiatives he wants to implement is a strong “grassroots” focus on exposing youth to the arts early on and continuing that focus through adulthood.

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RYLA students share experiences

Early in November ryla, two students from Carrollton High School and one from Oak Mountain Academy spoke about their Rotary Youth Leadership Award experienc-es this past summer at the RYLA camp held at Georgia Southwestern State Uni-versity in Americus, Ga. From left are Josh Albertus and Michael Morgan, juniors at Carrollton High School, and Darshan Patel, a student at Oak Mountain Acade-my. Abigail McWhorter of Central High School also participated this year.

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KidsPeace provides secure transitions for at-risk youth

donation-kidspeaceGeorgia’s KidsPeace location  is tucked away on a small campus in Bowdon, but it provides big services and changes lives.

Executive Director Lou Shagawat shared that 70 percent of the 60 teens KidsPeace services have a criminal history and all suffer from behavioral problems rooted in abuse, neglect or some other source of trauma. They come from all areas of the state and from all walks of life.

Shagawat said there is a $2.2 million capital campaign under way to add 20 more beds to the facility, which receives about 800 referrals per year but is only able to serve about 10 percent of that.

“Our goal is to provide care for patients and families like we would want for our own families,” Shagawat said.

After listening to an informative program about the KidsPeace organization and its location in Bowdon, the Rotary Club of Carrollton presented a check in support of the program. From left are Beth MaGahee, KidsPeace admissions coordinator; John Jackson, club president; and Lou Shagawat, KidsPeace executive director.

 

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Welcome newest Rotarian Mike Lee

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Marrero: UWG is home to University System eCampus

Univemarrero-kylersity of West Georgia president and fellow Rotarian Kyle Marrero provided an update on the latest and greatest concerning the UWG’s advancements on many fronts during the Oct. 18 Club meeting.

One area that continues to gain momentum at UWG is online course delivery thanks to the success of eCore, a program started by UWG that is used statewide. In fact, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents has charged UWG with developing eCampus, the next phase in the continued growth of online learning because of the success of eCore.

 

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Curran shares thoughts on football and leadership

 

Rennie Curran

Rennie Curran

He has a story to tell, a compelling one. But instead he wanted to focus on his life’s experiences as they relate to leadership training and today, after much reflection, he says he realizes it was some of the little things that changed the course of who he has become.

Rennie Curran, an All-American linebacker who was a standout at the University of Georgia and is now a free agent with the Canadian BC Lions following NFL experiences with the

Club member Jami Bower gets Rennie Curran's autograph on a football she won in a drawing.

Club member Jami Bower gets Rennie Curran’s autograph on a football she won in a drawing.

Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, recalled when his rec league football coach took him to his first UGA game.

“That simple act by my coach changed my life,” Curran told the Rotary Club of Carrollton Oct. 11.

Curran, the author of the book “Free Agent – The Perspectives of A Young African American Athlete,” is now a polished motivational speaker who shared his take on leadership with the club. The son of Liberian immigrants, he learned early on the expectation of taking care of your extended family, as both his parents worked hard to support family in the home country.

Before Curran entered his senior season at Georgia, he made the decision not to finish and enter the NFL draft. At the time, he was the father of a young daughter and had obligations.

“Here I was, 22 years old, and basically the Moses of my family,” he said.

Curran’s stints as a professional football player gave him prime opportunities to learn about leadership – good and bad.

“I actually learned the most from bad leadership,” he said. “Favoritism and double standards hurt a person’s leadership ability.”

Curran also noted that adversity is key in building strong character and empathy is one of the most important tools in life.

“That is the problem with our country,” he said. “We have a lack of empathy and caring.”

Carrollton High School head football coach Sean Calhoun, who attended the meeting as a guest along with four of his players who have already committed to play at the collegiate level, asked Curran what advice would he give the boys.

“The next four years not only do what you can for yourself, but keep in mind what it will mean for your families down the road,” Curran said. “Take it to heart.”

Rennie Curran poses with Carrollton High School football players who came to hear him speak. From left are Trojan head football coach Sean Calhoun, Case Cook, Niesheem Thomas, Curran, LaDamion Hunt and Cortavious Hunt.

Rennie Curran poses with Carrollton High School football players who came to hear him speak. From left are Trojan head football coach Sean Calhoun, Case Cook, Niesheem Thomas, Curran, LaDamion Hunt and Cortavious Hunt.

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