22 students from high schools all over Bay County were hand picked by their administrators to participate in the Junior Leadership Bay Class of 2013.
The class toured several businesses based in the county and even participated in a service project.
The students were tasked with cleaning up the Margaret K. Lewis campus in Millville.
Congressman Steve Southerland was guest speaker at Monday night's graduation. He encouraged the students to focus on their passions and their purpose.
Chief Assistant State Attorney Greg Wilson sat on the steering committee for the class.
He says the purpose of the group is not only to provide the tools for leadership, but to learn about their community and return to it after pursuing further education.
"What we want them to do is we want them to experience it and then make a decision to stay here and do something great for the community," said Wilson.
"I've always loved Panama City," said student Douglas Dick. "So, I definitely have Bay County pride.
"I definitely want to go off to school and come back and be a leader in the community."
"It was a lot of exposure to different career types and a lot of people are just ready to get out," said Mosley student Anna Wirrick. "But, I love it here so I'm excited to stay."
"Being in it you just get a sense that you are a leader in your school," said James Justice, a student from North Bay Haven. "And it's kind of nice to feel that way."
Out of 22 participating students Anna Wirrick from Mosley High School was awarded a full scholarship to attend Gulf Coast State College and then Florida State University in Panama City.