Youth Leadership program taking applications

Published 7:30 am Thursday, September 1, 2022

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The Covington County Youth Leadership program is currently accepting applications for juniors of the 2022-2023 school year.

“The mission of CCYL is to prepare high school students who have demonstrated leadership potential to take active leadership roles in improving their homes, schools, and communities. The goals of the program are to encourage high school students to recognize and develop their self-discipline, self-respect, and leadership potential; to teach leadership and problem-solving skills that will foster an open-minded, non-violent approach to solutions; to provide students with a greater understanding of current issues through interaction with peers, leaders, and decision-makers in the community, region, and state; to expose students to resources available in our community and state; to provide students with opportunities to experience the difference they can make through volunteer service projects; and to expand students’ network of friends, peers, and contacts,” a statement read.

Eligibility is limited to juniors from all public, private, and home schools within Covington County and who are at least 15 years of age. Applicants must meet the following requirements: have a “C” average or better, obtain permission from their parents and/or guardians, and receive approval from their school principal.

“Applicants are expected to have demonstrated leadership in school or community activities, expressed an interest in addressing the issues that confront their community, and to have a 100 percent commitment to participation in all program activities.”

Selected individuals will be required to attend all sessions and participate in all activities, which include seven, daylong educational sessions, plus additional time for a service project, and other meetings. Sessions are typically scheduled on Wednesdays and occur during the school day once per month from September through March. These are coordinated with each school and are treated as excused absences. Those miss more than one session will not be permitted to graduate from the program.

A committee of business and community leaders will select the program’s participants. Applications are scored using the percentages shown on the application. The committee will consider the quality of the applicants as well as the need for balanced representation from throughout the county. Each school may have up to five students selected and up to five students will be allowed from home school settings. The maximum class size will be 35 students with no minimum class size.

CCYL participants must pay a fee of $100 to assist with program expenses. This fee must be paid by the second session held on Oct. 19. A limited number of full or partial scholarships based on need are available. Students wishing to apply for a scholarship can do so once they are selected for the program.

Applications should be submitted online by Thursday, Sept. 9; no applications will be accepted after this date. Those selected as a member of the program will receive notification of acceptance, an agreement form specifying attendance, participation requirements, and program guidelines. Those not selected for admission to the program will also receive a notification letter.

The Covington County Youth Leadership program first began in the 2021-2022 school year. The inaugural class was comprised of 29 local juniors attending Andalusia High School, Florala High School, Opp High School, Pleasant Home School, Red Level School, and Straughn High School. These students attended a Leadership and Team Building event at Camp Butter and Egg in Troy for their first session in September 2021.

The Committee includes representatives from Southeast Alabama Gas District; the Alabama Community College System; PowerSouth; Covington Electric; Lurleen B. Wallace Community College; Children’s Policy Council; the County Commission; Opp, Andalusia, and Covington County Schools; the Cities of Opp, Andalusia, and Florala; Vocational Rehab; the South Alabama Regional Airport; AFLAC; local churches; the County Extension Office; and more.

For more information call Dr. Terri Dunn at 334-804-1572. “We are looking forward to another great year,” Dunn said.