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ARC to honor leadership graduates

ALBANY, Ga. -- Albany Police Chief John A. Proctor will be guest speaker Monday when the Albany Advocacy Resource Center hosts the Class of 2013 Dougherty Leadership Development Institute graduation ceremony at Chehaw.

The program will begin at 6 p.m. During the ceremonies, two major awards will be given including the Otis M. Burgess Award and the Ellen D. Raulerson Award.

Members of the graduating class include Zachary Appier, Crystal Ashley, Ashley Baker, Kyle Bartow, Wanda Brooks, Patricia Brown, Mattie Buchannan, Blake Cook, David A. Hatch, April Moley, Kim Moore-Willis, Christy Pruitt, Nancy Reimer, Jeffery Stringer, Tonya Trueblood and Peggy Tucker.

The program was designed to integrate persons with disabilities and non-disabled persons into the leadership community and empower them to have more influence over their lives.

The program is modeled after Leadership Albany. The program has graduated more than 300 leaders since its inception in 1992.

Each year, the class kicks off with a retreat in January to strengthen each person's leadership style.

"It's about learning how to get along and showing people that everybody has a disability, no matter who they are," said Lou Lee, DLDI program director.

The DLDI class sessions are held once monthly for six months for a full day of presentations and tours. Topics covered include diversity training, health and human services, education and communications, courts and public safety, business and economic development and cultural affairs.