By: Holly Hollman Students with the Athens Mayor's Youth Commission recently went on a hunting trip armed with baskets and merchandise scanners. The students received a retail scavenger hunt challenge from the Lowe’s staff to learn how to locate items in the store based on its location code, scan it, and add it to their cart. Lowe’s hosted the students for their November program. Some of the students have expressed interest in retail and the decision making that goes into a business locating in Athens. Lowe’s Manager Darwan Kerr talked to the students about a city’s population, growth rate, transportation access, and other attributes. Kerr and his staff also explained to students what an employer looks for in an employee, women in leadership, being a service-minded leader, and why businesses support community engagement. “This is important for them to hear because they may already have a job, or they soon will, and they need to know what they can do to advance in their careers and be a valued employee and leader,” Mayor Ronnie Marks said. Lowe’s treated the visiting students as new employees, issued them employee badges, and challenged them to learn how to locate and scan items through the scavenger hunt activity designed by Lowe’s SOS Credit Coordinator Melissa Calvert. Only one team found all 14 items on the list. “The students had to divide into small teams, and they had to work together and follow directions in order to complete the task,” said Youth Commission mentor Holly Hollman. “The students were very competitive, and it was fun to watch them debate on which aisle was the right way to go and which item was the correct one.” The goal of the Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission is to teach high school students in Athens about local government’s role and their role as citizens so that they will be informed and engaged citizens. The program includes community service projects, tours of various businesses, non-profit agencies and historic sites, and visits to city departments. By: Holly Hollman

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