Youth Leadership Shelby County applications now open, due Sept. 15

Published 12:44 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

The annual Youth Leadership program presented by Leadership Shelby County is set to begin again with applications now open for students to apply.

The six-month program is designed for students entering the 11th grade and seeks to encourage young leaders of the future by providing them a guiding hand in the formation of vision. It seeks to inspire social consciousness and aims to provide the necessary experiences and opportunities one might require in leadership roles.

“It’s a great opportunity for eleventh graders throughout the county in both public and private schools to get involved and learn more about how Shelby County works and the different entities that really make us thrive,” said Kendall Williams, executive director of Leadership Shelby County.

The program meets on the first Tuesday of each month, and will see students take part in numerous discussions with decision makers from the community. It is here where they will have the opportunity to partake in in-depth and honest discussions with important members of the community about current issues that actively affect both them and the community.

The schedule for the program is as follows:

  • November – Opening retreat – Class participants will take two days to foster team building and to introduce the program concepts and processes.
  • December – Health and Human Services Day – Students will seek to gain knowledge and understanding of the healthcare arena and heighten their awareness of preventive strategies for health.
  • February – Justice System Day – Students will gain knowledge and understanding on the topics of law enforcement, the court system, community corrections and juvenile services.
  • March – Government Day – Students will be taught on the formal and informal processes of non-judicial aspects of state government. This will include the ways such topics relate directly to Shelby County, and ways they can be effective in the processes while in the leadership role.
  • Early April – Education Day – The last class day will prepare students for their transition from high school to college and will seek to expose students to opportunities both during college and in their future careers.
  • Late April – Graduation Ceremony

Throughout the program, students will also be provided the opportunity to take part in a community project helmed by a nonprofit, the outcomes of which will be presented during the program’s graduation ceremony.

“We are expecting a record number of applications this year,” Williams said. “Last year we set a record as far as the number of applicants and we anticipate that to grow even more just as word of mouth has grown about the program and the students being really excited and encouraging their younger classmates to apply.”

Applications for Youth Leadership Shelby County are now open and are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15. There is no cost to the student in order to participate as the program is sponsored by the Leadership Shelby County Alumni Association.