Celebrating Youth Leadership: The Journey of Leo's Snow Beach Ball Snow Cones

Celebrating Youth Leadership: The Journey of Leo's Snow Beach Ball Snow Cones Main Photo

19 Feb 2024

February is Youth Leadership Month – a month dedicated to recognize and encourage the development of leadership qualities in young people. It’s an opportunity for schools, community organizations, and families to work together to empower youth to take on active roles in their communities and learn leadership skills like critical thinking, effective communication, problem-solving, and decision-making.

This month, we’re celebrating Leo Bruce, a senior at Carroll High School, and the owner and operator of Leo’s Snow Beach Ball Snowcones, who brings his leadership and entrepreneurial skills to Ozark. For Leo and his family, this is more than just a summer business – it’s a starting point for future endeavors.

It All Started With an Old Snow Cone Machine

In 2018, Leo’s father, Mr. Howard Bruce, brought an old commercial snow cone machine home. And after a conversation about small businesses, the idea to open a snow cone stand was born. The two began researching health department guidelines, secured a permit, and obtained a business license and opened the stand just in time for summer in June 2018.

“When we opened Leo’s Snow Beach Ball, I didn’t see it as being an entrepreneur,” Leo said. “I just thought it would be a fun way to earn a little spending money.” But now, it isn’t just about the extra spending money. “I love seeing how excited the little kids get.”

This Menu Will Melt Your Heart

Leo’s Snow Cones isn’t just about the business. It’s about bringing smiles to the faces of his customers. “They keep you extremely cool on the hot days in Southeast Alabama,” said Leo. “They bring smiles to the faces of the young and the old. They taste great too!” Snow cones come in two different sizes and over 15 flavors including piña colada, watermelon, grape, and Ninja Turtle (for the kids). They also offer sugar-free options to ensure everyone can enjoy.

A Strong Example of Youth Leadership

Leo is not just an entrepreneur; he is a vibrant example of youth leadership. As a senior at Carroll High School, he is active in service projects and leadership organizations. He’s a varsity cheerleader and an Eagle Representative. His commitment to community and leadership has taken him to notable positions such as the Lt. Governor for Alabama's Key Club Division 12 and has given him many accolades, like the Youth of the Year award from the Boys and Girls Club of Ozark-Southeast Alabama. Upon graduation this spring, Leo will head to Auburn University to study Pre-Physical Therapy, entering the next chapter of his life of ambition, service, and leadership.

What will happen to Leo’s Snow Beach Snow Cones when he heads to Auburn? “Depending on my schedule, I may take the machine with me,” he said. “My parents may open it while I’m away since they enjoy having it up. It’s a fun family venture.”

Youth Leadership Organizations in Ozark and the Wiregrass Region

There are so many opportunities for area youth to get involved in the communities. Whether it’s volunteering with local nonprofits, serving as a youth representative to community organizations, or pursuing a business venture are just a few ways to get involved. In Dale County and the surrounding counties of the Wiregrass Region, Youth Leadership organizations bring students together to learn and work together.

In Dale County, the Dale County Youth Leadership Program (DCYLP) serves students from Ariton, Carroll, Dale County, Daleville, and G.W. Long high schools. It offers leadership development opportunities through various activities and is supported by local businesses and organizations.

LEAD Wiregrass is a regional leadership program that is designed to develop current and future leaders by enhancing their leadership skills and community involvement. It includes a 9-month interactive schedule that includes classroom instruction, community needs assessments, community project implementation, and tours.

The Power of Youth Leadership Forum is an annual forum sponsored by the Alabama Power Company. Students from 25 high schools across Covington, Coffee, Dale, Henry, Houston, and Geneva Counties come together for a day of conversation, breakout sessions, and workshops.

Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation Celebrates Our Community’s Youth

As we celebrate Youth Leadership Month, we’re honored to share Leo’s story as a reminder of the power of young people to make a difference in their communities. Through determination, family support, and a heart for service, Leo exemplifies the best of the best in our community, showing that even the smallest ventures can have a significant impact.