Two Cherokee County high schoolers were among 29 high school students from across the metro Atlanta area who recently graduated from the Model Atlanta Regional Commission youth leadership program.

Etowah High School’s lla Prabhuram and Woodstock High School’s Fawzan Khan were among the 29 students who explored real-world issues such as housing affordability, responsible water usage, and the impact of limited transportation options as part of the six-month program. They spoke with local changemakers about equity and resilience, and offered their own reflections on ways the region can better serve a diverse population.

“I commend the work and collaboration these young leaders put into the MARC program,” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC board chair. “The insights they bring to the challenges facing our region is refreshing, and make me feel optimistic about our future.”

The 2020 to 2021 program was moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic, and students were also invited to participate in self-guided activities such as a walkability audit of their neighborhoods.

The program is accepting applications for the 2021-22 class through June 4. High school sophomores and juniors who reside or attend school in the Atlanta region may apply. The class meets once a month on Saturdays for six months, beginning in August. Initial sessions will be held online and transition to in-person as COVID-19 safety guidelines allow. There is no cost to participants.

For more information on the program, visit

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