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Chamber of Commerce making plans for 2016 Junior Leadership program

The Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for the 2016 Junior Leadership Program. All 10th-grade students who live in Oxford and Lafayette County are encouraged to apply.

Junior Leadership is a program designed to help high school students develop the essential leadership skills to be successful in the future. The program was modeled after a similar program was developed in Plano, Texas, more than 15 years ago. More than 430 students have graduated from the program since its inception in 1998.

The sessions are developed to introduce the students to team building techniques, goal-setting strategies and are required to complete a community project prior to graduation.

Through dynamic community speakers and on-site tours of local facilities such as Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, Caterpillar, Chancery Building and various facilities at the University, the students are able to get a unique view of what goes on in their community.

Junior Leadership Chair Lolita Gregory said, “Through these sessions they see the variety of professions and services offered here in Oxford. Going through this course may give them a better understanding of various jobs and help in making career decisions.”

The participants will work together in a program that combines eight group sessions plus time invested in an actual community project that require them to use and develop leadership skills. Training sessions include leadership, team-building, medicine, education, legal field and law enforcement, government, career development, and the arts, among other topics. Each session students get an opportunity to meet top government officials, university professionals, medical specialists and local business leaders. The program runs from late January through early April and meets on Monday afternoons from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m.

The program is restricted to 10th-grade students from within Oxford and Lafayette County.  Acceptance is based on completion of the required forms and documents by the deadline of this Friday and the payment of $45 tuition fee.  The class is limited to 25 participants.

Preference will be given to applicants who, in addition to their potential for leadership, would contribute to the overall diversity and strength of the class and have available time to commit to the program.

Notification of acceptance into the program will be made by phone on or before Jan. 22. Orientation will be Jan. 25 and the program will conclude with a graduation ceremony April 11.

Applications and a full schedule of sessions are available in the school counselor’s offices, online at www.oxfordms.com or can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce at 299 Jackson Ave. West.

For questions and information please call Pam Swain at the Chamber office at 662-234-4651.