Release Date: May 24,2021

Leadership Akron Announces Junior Leadership Akron Graduating Class and Award Winners

Akron, OH (May 24, 2021) — Leadership Akron hosted its 2020-2021 Junior Leadership Akron graduation for its class of 43 current eleventh graders at the Highland Theatre on May 16, 2021.

For more than 34 years, Leadership Akron has hosted this year-long program for two juniors from each high school in Summit County who are interested in developing leadership skills and broadening their connection to the community.

During the event, Michael Daniels, Director of the Student Multicultural Center at Kent State University, was the keynote speaker. In addition to the graduation ceremony, two members of the class were presented with the Eric Smith Award. The award is named after Leadership Akron Signature Class 23 graduate Eric Smith, who was deeply involved with Junior Leadership Akron for over 15 years and made an impact in the lives of more than 500 youth.

In 2018, the Eric Smith Award was created to be presented annually to two Junior Leadership Akron participants who exemplify Eric’s spirit and courage. To be considered for the award, students must take a true leadership role among the class and in the community, demonstrate compassion, and set an example for their peers during their Junior Leadership Akron experience.

This year’s award winners are:

  • Alexandria Adams from Nordonia High School: Alexandria was chosen for her leadership and commitment, including her work with the Akron Zoo and Nordonia High School Earth Week, which was a direct result of her participation in Junior Leadership Akron.
  • Zachary Heckendorn from Copley High School: Zachary was chosen for his leadership and commitment, including his work with Project Outrun, which was a direct result of his participation in Junior Leadership Akron.

Graduating members of the 2020-2021 class can be found at

The program is generously funded by The J.M. Smucker Co.

In addition to Junior Leadership Akron, Leadership Akron also offers its Signature Program, NEXT, Diversity on Board, and other Community Leadership Institutes. For more information about Leadership Akron, visit its website at