Last updated: September 05. 2013 12:53AM - 101 Views

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Area high school students are invited to be more involved in the community through the Mayor’s Junior Civic Leaders Group, which promotes leadership in the community.

Mayor Elaine Horn, who created the group, said she she will accept applications through June 1 for students interested in the second year for the program.

“I would love to have 10 or 12 students,” she said. “I think that would be an ideal group.”

Horn said she started the MJCLG because she loved seeing area youth working together in the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce’s Youth Leadership Program when she was part of the 2011-2012 class.

“It was just really amazing to watch the youth in the community as we worked on our class project for the group,” she said. “And to see them learn and to get involved, and do things that they had no idea that they could do and make changes.”

This year’s group spearheaded the Carpe Diem Festival, an all-day street festival with vendors, children’s activities and a battle of the bands. Smith-Cotton High School senior Michaela Pomajzl said she joined MJCLG after a teacher encouraged her to be more involved in the community.

“My favorite part was making new connections around Sedalia and being able to take on any project we wanted,” she said. “I believe I gained leadership skills and personal relationship skills. I learned what it’s like to be part of a group that actually does something.”

Any high school student, except freshmen, can apply and each applicant must have two letters of recommendation, and be able to attend at least 75 percent of the meetings. Horn said the time commitment depends on the project the group chooses to do and added the first group didn’t know how much time was needed until later in the planning stages of the festival.

“In the beginning it wasn’t that bad because they were just planning and

 getting things ready, and then they realized as they got more involved in it, that it was more time consuming than they had anticipated,” she said. “But they willingly made the time to do it.”

Horn said she would love to see this year’s group plan a similar event, but it is completely up to them what they do.

“I think with all of the connections we made this year we have the potential to do something spectacular next year,” Pomajzl said. “I believe that as youth we can really make a difference, whether it’s in our school, in Sedalia or in our country. We are the future and we’re getting a head start on making this a better place.”

Applications can be picked up at an area high school, on the city’s website at cityofsedalia.com or on the city’s Facebook page.

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