Career Development Coordinator Susan Tyson worked alongside the Chamber Of Commerce to organize a field trip for the Wake Forest Youth Leadership program.
To be accepted, students must apply and interview for the program. There have been nine students selected this year.
These students were involved in the Government Session Dec. 6. They traveled to the Town Hall of Wake Forest, allowing them to be involved in decision making about the town budget.
“They were able to meet with Mayor Vivian Jones, town manager and town commissioners. The students worked on a budget problem for the town. They had to consider the money being spent and what the concerns were of the citizens. They had to make decisions accordingly and students served in roles such as the town manager and major,” Tyson said.
One of the many benefits of the program was understanding the roles and dilemmas town leaders must face.
“Students gain an understanding of the town government, the roles within the town government and how town government operates to benefit citizens and our community,” Tyson said. “Overall, the Youth Leadership Wake Forest program benefits the students by allowing them to connect and to network with area leaders and organizations and businesses and town government,” Tyson said.
One of the activities the students were involved in was a roleplay. Students had to think on their feet and respond to questions as if they were in a mayor’s position.
“They actually role played as if they were citizens complaining about various problems within the town and also their concern about how money was being spent,” Tyson said.
Freshman Joshua Dupree gained new understanding about his home town.
“Wake Forest is a booming town, and I think it’s going to be bigger in the future,” Dupree said.
Dupree also noted how the trip, “showed me a lot of job opportunities that I’d like to purse later on.”
Members of the program toured both The Cotton Company and the Renaissance center on an earlier field trip and viewed the works of local artists.
Dupree cited this trip as his favorite, “because it showed the diversity of Wake Forest.”
On another trip, the students toured Wake Electric, and this trip resonated with freshman Luke Sparks.
“We were able to go upstairs into the dispatch center, and we got to see the recovery options. When the power goes out, they immediately know, and they dispatch the trucks out to fix the issue,” Sparks said.
Sophomore Anna Beckom also found the program’s activities enriching.
Beckom said, “I would say it was really good because I got to learn a lot of different things about our community that I didn’t know before.”
Freshman Luke Sparks has had the opportunity to build stronger communities within Wake Forest because of this program.
“It’s basically let me get more with the community,” Sparks said.
Tyson agrees, “With those connections, the students may be able to call on them in the future, especially if they are interested in a political career.”