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YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Young Harris College graduate Jacob Welmaker, Class of 2022, of Evans, Georgia, was named the 2022 Outdoor Leadership Outstanding Senior.

The Outdoor Leadership Outstanding Senior Award recognizes a student who exemplifies the mission and values of YHC’s Outdoor Leadership program (including service, compassion, stewardship, reflection, community, respect, originality, and curiosity), is focused on creating meaningful experiences for others, and is poised to go forth to educate, inspire, and empower. Welmaker joins a distinguished cohort of previous award recipients who are making impacts in a variety of communities.

Welmaker was an outdoor leadership major, history minor, and distinguished undergraduate research scholar. Through his time at YHC, he was the president of the Hiking Club, the president of Underground Student Ministries, and a member of the SPAT Club. He participated in an Appalachian Teaching Project and conducted an independent research study on how one develops their own unique leadership style. In his senior year, he helped facilitate meaningful experiences for the campus community through YHC’s Outdoor Adventures program and through assisting outdoor studies majors in their “Leadership in a Wilderness Context” course. His dedication to the outdoors and to his studies, as well as his heart for the wellbeing of his peers, made him an outstanding student worthy of recognition.

“Jacob embodies quiet character, purposefulness, engagement, and willingness to learn,” said Associate Professor of Outdoor Studies and Chair of the Department of Outdoor, Sport, and Recreation Studies Dr. Joseph Pate, who taught, advised, and mentored Welmaker, and adventured with him often. “He made a lasting impact on those he interacted with at YHC, and each of us are better for sharing some time on the journey with him.” Welmaker left this summer to serve as a trip leader for Created for Adventure, an organization that provides teens with faith-based adventure trip opportunities to Colorado and Wyoming, creating spaces for exploration and character development in Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks. He will return to YHC this fall as Outdoor Adventures Coordinator, and he will work in this role to rebuild and rebrand the YHC Outdoor Adventures program.

“I am honored to have received the 2022 Outdoor Leadership Outstanding Senior Award,” said Welmaker. “The Outdoor Leadership & Studies program is filled with amazing individuals who set the bar high in many ways. Every student pushed me and helped me grow in countless areas. I am beyond thankful for this program and those in it.”

YHC congratulates Jacob Welmaker and looks forward to his future adventures.

About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires, and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has four academic divisions: Fine Arts; Humanities; Mathematics, Science, and Technology; and Professional Studies. Approximately 1,400 students are enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. For more information, visit