Applications being taken for Leadership Selma Dallas County

Published 10:36 pm Monday, February 20, 2017

Leadership Selma Dallas County is now taking applications for the 2017-2018 class.

According to Callie Nelson, program director, leadership started in the 1900s when Dallas County received a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to see what they could do to improve economic development and quality of life.

After some Selma residents went through the Kellogg Foundation’s leadership development training for economic vitality program, they were asked what the county needed,  and that is how the local program began.

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“They decided to launch a leadership program, and that’s how this started,” Nelson said.

Nelson said leadership is about getting involved in the city and county and learning about different organizations.

The leadership classes will have the opportunity to tour facilities, hear from speakers and learn valuable life and leadership skills as well as come up with a group project that does something the help the county.

“We try to get people out in the county so they can see what Selma and Dallas County actually have,” Nelson said. “It’s about being able to get out and see what’s in the community, the people in the community and how many people are passionate about Selma and Dallas County and want to see it be really successful.”

Class members will have the opportunity to tour places like International Paper, the Arsenal Place Business Accelerator, the Dallas County Jail and others.

The program objectives are to prepare adults for future roles in community leadership, to further enhance participants leadership skills, to create interest in the community and volunteer activities and to develop pride in the community, which will strengthen a lifelong bond to Selma-Dallas County.

The current adult class has 12 participants, but Nelson is hoping to have a full class of 25 for the upcoming year.

“We’re looking for a diverse group,” Nelson said. “We want people from all across the county to be in the youth and the adult leadership program.”

The youth leadership class this year has 31 participants. The program is a 9-month program during which class members will attend a weekend retreat and then meet once a month until graduation. The retreat this year will be Aug. 4-5. Applications for leadership can be found at the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and the Dallas County Extension Office. For more information, call Nelson’s office at 875-7241. The cost as an adult is $525 and $75 for students. Youth applications will be available mid-March in all area high schools.