South Fulton Students Recognized for Leadership and Impact

Two South Fulton students are among 21 outstanding high schoolers selected to receive Georgia Youth Leadership Awards. Keith Harris and Kelsey Henderson, both Westlake High seniors, are being recognized for their significant impact in their school and community.

The awards are presented annually by 21st Century Leaders (21 CL), a Georgia-based nonprofit youth leadership and talent development program. The South Fulton students will be formally recognized on Saturday, March 28 at the Buckhead Theatre as the nonprofit kicks off the its fourth decade of service to the state of Georgia.

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Keith Harris (third from left) along with South Fulton leaders after speaking at the Atlanta Smart City Expo

Harris is a member of the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project. Last year – for the first time in the university’s history – Harris and his debate partner were the first African American students to go undefeated and win the Harvard Summer Residency International Tournament.

Harris then used his platform and skills to give back to his community by starting a public speaking workshop in partnership with Youth Challenge Incorporated. After high school, Harris plans to major in business management and eventually become an entertainment lawyer.

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Kelsey Henderson (far right) with The Brainy Bunch co-founders India Rice and Julia Seay and community leader Willie Davis

Henderson co-founded Peers 4 Westlake, also known as The Brainy Bunch in 2019. The organization aims to implement healthy and positive mental health initiatives into the ordinary school day.

Within its first active year, The Brainy Bunch created a dedicated break room for the student body, expanded the number of counselor services on campus including a mental health hotline, and served the student body with initiatives such as School Cheat Day which facilitated the delivery of treats and positive compliments to their peers.

Henderson aims to create opportunities and uplift others by expanding The Brainy Bunch into more schools and through her passion for television and film production. She plans to start college in the fall to study film and television production and strategic communications.

Harris and Henderson were carefully chosen by a 23-member selection committee comprised of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under 40 members, 21CL Board of Directors, 21CL corporate volunteers and 21CL alumni and student peers. Each youth leader will receive a grant as part of their award.

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