YLA applications available Wednesday

Published 10:28 am Monday, August 19, 2013

Members of Youth Leadership Atmore participate in team-building exercises at Camp Beckwith in Fairhope.

Members of Youth Leadership Atmore participate in team-building exercises at Camp Beckwith in Fairhope.

Packets are now available for high school juniors in the Atmore area interested in participating in the 2013-14 Youth Leadership Atmore program. Students from Atmore Christian School, Escambia Academy, Escambia County High School, Northview High School and local home-schooled programs are eligible to apply. Completed applications, signed by parents and school officials, must be turned in to the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce office by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013.

According to chamber officials, the youth leadership program, now in its 19th year, begins in October with an overnight retreat at Camp Beckwith on Weeks Bay in Fairhope. From November through April, the class is involved in a series of interactive, hands-on activities, which take place one day each month. Participants have the opportunity to meet community and state leaders, visit major businesses, government offices, a college campus and law enforcement facilities, while learning first-hand how their community works and how youth leadership can make a difference. Chamber officials said members will also be given the opportunity to learn and practice skills needed for future job interviews and meetings, as well as to learn about personal banking and credit.

According to chamber officials, goals of the Youth Leadership Atmore program include: Increasing self-awareness and self-confidence; providing leadership training and practicing leadership roles; teaching students about community resources and community issues; developing an understanding of lifelong commitment to the individual’s role in community and service, leading to trusteeship.

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Chamber officials said participants must be enrolled in one of the above-mentioned schools and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher. The Youth Leadership Atmore Steering Committee will review all applications and references and schedule interviews for all eligible applicants. Interviews will be held Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 9 and 10 (and Wednesday, Sept. 11, if needed) beginning at 3 p.m.  Tuition is $125 for each participant. Partial financial aid may be available to those students demonstrating a need. All other funding is donated through corporate sponsorship, gifts from members of the public and designated fund-raising projects.

Application packets will be available at the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce office, located at 501 S. Pensacola Ave., as well as in the above-mentioned school offices by Wednesday, Aug. 21.  For more information about the YLA program, calls may be directed to the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce at (251) 368-3305.