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The Aiken NAACP Youth Council received several during a conference in Rock Hill.

The Aiken County NAACP Youth Council recently received top awards at the 2019 South Carolina State Conference NAACP Annual Convention and Civil Rights Conference in Rock Hill.

At the Youth and College Leadership Awards Luncheon, the youth council received awards for the following: Youth Council of the Year, Advisor of the Year (Liz Morris), Adult Volunteer of the Year Award (Bridgett Stroman), Communications & Social Media Award and Membership Award (for the largest Youth Council membership in South Carolina).

"As president of the youth council, I am extremely proud of all the community service projects we have completed and the continuous support and recognition from the parents and community," said Kaitny Stroman, youth council president. "The youth council is filled with dedicated youth ready to do the work of the NAACP."

These awards were based on an evaluation of the programmatic, leadership and membership activities of all South Carolina NAACP Youth Councils.

The NAACP has one of the largest organized groups of young people of any secular organization in the country, according to NAACP.org. The vision of the NAACP Youth and College Division is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race by developing a New Generation of Civil Rights and Community Leaders.

Aiken Youth Council events include community volunteering, leadership development and training in economic, education, social and political advocacy.

"It is a pleasure helping our youth discover what's already inside of them," said Liz Morris, youth council adviser. "These awards are greatly appreciated and demonstrate the level of commitment to serving our community. As the youth adviser, I am equally grateful for the opportunity build leaders of today and for the future."

The Aiken County NAACP Youth Council meets at 3 p.m. the fourth Sunday of the month at the Smith-Hazel Recreation Center, 400 Kershaw St. N.E. All youth and their parents are welcome.

Also at the conference, the adult branch continued its three-year streak of receiving the LA Blackmon Award, recognizing it as the top branch in South Carolina. Additionally, the adult branch received the Mojeska Simpkins Advocacy Award for Publications, the MD McCollum Award for the highest number of memberships in South Carolina and the state Membership Lay-Down Award for success in membership recruitment.

Kristina Rackley is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard.