The Shelby County Historical Society honored seven graduates of the Shelby Sentinel Youth Ambassador Program during the society’s membership meeting on May 7th, 2017.
The Sentinel Program was established by members of the 2015 Leadership Shelby County class. Graduates from this year’s class are Cole Sullivan and Erin Acree, Oak Mountain High School; Emily Standige and Samantha Pearce, Helena High School; Olivia Railey and Cailyn Perry, Thompson High School; and Emma Harvey, Chelsea High School.
The Sentinels serve as ambassadors for the Shelby County Historical Society and are required to complete five hours of community service and complete a final assignment that will be used to determine the annual scholarship winner.
This year’s assignment was to write three blog posts related to what they learned during a fieldtrip to Harpersville and Vincent.
A tour of histical sites was provided by Albert “Peter” Datcher, whose family has deep roots in the area.
The Sentinels toured the Old Bailey Cemetery and Baker Grove Cemetery, where many of Datcher’s descendants are buried.
Descended from slaves that worked the area plantations, Datcher still maintains the strong ties his family has with the land.
Albert Baker, Peter’s great-grandfather, became a free man in the 1870’s.
The original homestead, which sits not far from Peter’s house, is now a family museum, and serves as a testament to the generations of hard work that went in to running one of the largest black-owned farms in Shelby County.
Based on what they learned during the field trip, each Sentinel submitted three blog posts that were judged by local historians, teachers and society board members.
Based on the quality of the completed assignment, a $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Olivia Railey and a $250 scholarship to Emma Harvey.
Sponsorship for the program was provided by Renasant Bank and Robinson Window Cleaning.