Ambitious applicants wanted for Young Commissioners Program

Apr. 30, 2014 @ 11:34 AM

Middle schoolers interested in learning more about their community and local government have a chance to gain a civics education — and leadership skills — this summer.

The Lee County Young Commissioners Leadership Program is accepting applications for the two-week program, which runs from July 28 to Aug. 8 and is open to current seventh- to ninth-graders from Lee County. Applications are due May 23.

“We want young people who are interested in increasing their leadership capacity, and kids who want to learn more about their local community and local government — the ones who want to take more control of their future by doing positive things.” said 4-H Youth Development Agent Bill Stone, program coordinator.

The program is a collaboration between the N.C. Cooperative Extension and Lee County government.

Last year, a dozen young people participated, and this year’s group is expected to number 14 or more — depending on the number and quality of applicants.

Its objectives for each participant include:

• Increase understanding of leadership principles and how they can be applied to life.

• Understand the issues facing Lee County and how elected officials address these issues.

• Develop skills needed for effective leadership.

• Understand the role of county government, as well as other local organizations.

• Provide service opportunities to showcase skills learned through the program.

• Have an enjoyable experience while making a positive difference in the community.

This is the program’s second year, and Lee County Commissioner Chairman Charlie Parks said he saw the inaugural group form a friendship that could continue throughout their lifetimes.

“I hope this new group will have this same attitude,” he said.

The first group of students are tentatively set to help mentor the new crop of students, Stone said, adding that they looked for ways to expand the program to build on its success.

For more information, contact 4-H Youth Development Agent Bill Stone at (919) 775-5624.