Applications now available for Mayor's Youth Council

By HASKEL BURNS,

Community and civic-minded high-schoolers who are interested in learning about and getting involved in Hattiesburg can now apply for the 2018-19 Mayor’s Youth Council.

“I think any young person, they view Hattiesburg through the lens of growing up here, and sort of experiencing it with their families and the activities they’re involved in,” Mayor Toby Barker said. “The Mayor’s Youth Council allows them to dive a lot deeper and see it from a different perspective of how this city came to be, how this city functions, and what drives our economy.

“Hopefully, they can connect with it and impact it. So for us, we see it as a chance to grow their affinity for their city, and keep them engaged as college students and adults.”

Council members will participate in community service, meetings and programs, as well as a community project benefiting citizens of Hattiesburg. The council is open to any high school student who lives in the city limits, regardless of what school they attend.

There is no fee to participate, but interested individuals must submit their applications by 5 p.m. Sept. 19 at http://bit.ly/hburgmyc. Selected applicants will be scheduled for an after-school interview on Sept. 24 or 25, and all applicants will be notified by Sept. 28 of this year’s class selection.

Orientation will begin in October, and the program will run through early April.

Out of 70 applications for last year’s Mayor’s Youth Council, 35 high school students were chosen from Hattiesburg High School, TIDE School, Sacred Heart School and Presbyterian Christian School.

“Ultimately, it was a time to further connect them to the heart of the city,” Barker said. “We’re going to have a slightly smaller class this year, just to kind of focus on the quality of the experience. We anticipate that we’ll have well over 50 applications for those spots.”

Interested applicants can call Betsy Mercier at (601) 545-4501 for more information.