Forty-one students from Permian High School, Odessa High School, New Tech Odessa, Falcon Early High School, Trinity High School, and OCTECHS graduated from the Junior Leadership Odessa (JLO) program on Feb. 20 at South Forty at the BarnDoor Steakhouse.

This year marked the 30th graduating class of Junior Leadership Odessa. This year’s keynote speaker was Craig Stoker, Marketing & Communications Manager at the West Texas Food Bank. Stoker gave an excellent presentation on being “community minded,” and having a positive outlook on Odessa as its future leaders.

Each year, the Odessa Chamber of Commerce provides a donation in honor of the keynote speaker on behalf of the Junior Leadership Class. This year, instead, the students were asked to bring nonperishable items as a donation in Stoker’s honor to the West Texas Food Bank.

JLO is a program designed to expose high school juniors to Odessa’s resources and the many opportunities available in the community.

“Junior Leadership Odessa has been a very successful program of ours over the years,” said Lynn Van Amburgh, director of operations at the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber started this program 30 years ago, and it has truly matured into something we are all very proud of.”