The Spokane Police Department hopes to recruit a record 180 young people for its annual summer youth leadership program this year.
Applications for the Leadership Education and Development program, or LEAD, are available now.
The free program is open to students in the eighth, ninth and 10th grades who have shown promise in school or extracurricular activities.
Class officers, captains of sports teams and students with good grades are encouraged to participate, said Bob Walker, coordinator of the police department’s volunteer services office.
The program, paid for by a state grant, teaches leadership skills and the importance of teamwork in a four-day series of indoor and outdoor classes at the police training center, Walker said.
Students learn how to prepare for a job interview, how to write speeches and the importance of civic involvement.
“I hope the kids learn more about themselves,” he said. “We hope to improve their self-esteem and confidence and teach them to take calculated risks.”
The classes are taught by police officers and volunteers.
Jill Boardman, 16, went through the program in 1994. She gave it a ringing endorsement.
“It was an excellent thing to do,” said Boardman, who liked it so much she now teaches several of the classes, including job interviewing techniques and speech writing. “It makes you mature a lot. You grow up a lot while you do it.”
That’s the idea, Walker said.
“We hope to shape them into better citizens for our community,” he said. “They’re our future leaders.”
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: MORE INFORMATION For more information or an application, call 625-4085. The first session begins June 23.
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