Posted on

The City of Thomasville recently launched its first annual Youth Leadership Academy, poised to significantly impact our community's future leaders.

On Monday, June 3rd, the City’s Human Resources Department welcomed eleven eighth and ninth graders from the community as participants in the City’s inaugural Youth Leadership Academy. The program was created to equip students with the essential skills and leadership needed to pursue professional careers as a part of the workforce of tomorrow.

“Our goal was to place the kids in an informative setting that provided insight into the City’s daily operations, management, and leadership in order to grow their knowledge of public service,” said Ricky Zambrano, Community Outreach & Recruitment Manager for the City of Thomasville. “Additionally, the participants were exposed to an environment that helped grow their leadership skills through interactive classroom sessions and guest speakers featuring Team Thomasville and community leaders.”

The Youth Leadership Academy featured a highly interactive curriculum that trained and challenged students to understand the professional skills needed to place themselves on a path toward a bright future. It included an understanding of the importance of job interview skills where students evaluated and took part in mock interviews, where they were assessed and given feedback on their skills.

As a part of the Academy, students toured City of Thomasville facilities, gaining insight into the vast array of critical functions provided by the City, with department leaders highlighting the scope of work and technology needed to perform essential job duties.

Dominic Ford, the Executive Director of Human Resources, Risk Management, and Community Outreach for the City of Thomasville, highlighted the organization’s proactive approach to updating the municipality's workforce plan. This includes addressing the widespread challenges in professional development by providing young people with real-life career experiences early on.

“The Youth Leadership Academy was a great opportunity to connect the City’s needs with our community’s talented future workers,” noted Ford. “We were excited to showcase our organization and offer future job seekers opportunities to learn more about vital employment skills like interview preparations and highlight their accomplishments throughout the week-long program."

At the end of the week, students were awarded for their dedication, eagerness to learn, and servant leadership during a graduation ceremony and were challenged with an opportunity to participate in an essay writing contest about their Academy experience. “We are thankful for the efforts made by the participants to stay engaged throughout the week,” said Zambrano. “It was a successful week because of the involvement of our participants, the Team Thomasville family, and our community leaders who gave of their time to impact the kids.”

For more information on the 2024 Youth Leadership Academy, please contact Ricky Zambrano at (229) 227-7041.