The West Chamber is currently accepting applications for its 2013-14 Youth Leadership Jefferson County class.
Applications are due May 6.
The YLJC is a program created to develop the leadership potential of Jeffco high school students and is patterned after the Chamber’s Leadership class for adults.
According to Marta Murray, director of the leadership programs at the Chamber, the YLJC was created based on the idea that high school students should have the same opportunity to learn about leadership as adults do.
“The whole point is we want kids to get interested in leadership, because we think there are leaders in every group of kids,” Murray said. “We take 35 students, and try to get representation from the entire county.”
Students in the program meet once a month and learn about a wide variety of issues in the community, from public safety and arts and media to nonprofits and businesses. There are lectures, group discussions, panels and interactive activities, all geared at teaching participants about how the community functions.
“We really want the students to have a wide perspective on the community,” Murray said. “We also want to broaden and instill an interest in giving back to the community.”
West Chamber President Brian Willms said there are three critical aspects to the program - making sure the students understand all the different areas in the community and how they work holistically, understanding the importance of collaboration and making connections.
“I think it’s crucial that this program is a proactive approach rather than a reactive one,” he said. “We’re really preparing the next workforce and leaders of that force.”
To be accepted, there are GPA requirements, students need letters of recommendation, and must fill out the application.
For more information, call 720-399-5655 or visit www.westchamber.org/lead-yljc.asp.