December 5, 2012
Contact: Melissa Perez
With the commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Campaign and Siege of Vicksburg, Vicksburg National Military Park is enlisting the assistance of community youth in conveying the mission of the National Park Service (NPS) and the impact that the historical events of 150 years ago continue to have in our lives today.
Vicksburg National Military Park is seeking ten local students to join its new Youth Leadership Academy. The Academy will engage emerging young leaders at the Military Park to promote volunteerism, education and stewardship for the NPS. The students will participate in interactive workshops, field trips and dialogue with influential guest speakers to promote a general understanding of the National Park Service mission and an appreciation for the important historical events that took place in the region. One unique aspect of the Youth Leadership Academy is the youth involvement in the planning and implementation of the program -- at the end of the program, students will decide how best to convey to their peers and the community, the importance and relevancy of the Campaign and Siege of Vicksburg as well as the NPS Mission to protect and preserve our natural and cultural resources.
With activities ranging from archeological exploration of sites within the park and touring NPS sites throughout the region, to preservation and restoration of the park's artifacts and monuments, there will be numerous opportunities for academy members to gain a greater understanding of the park's resources while gaining invaluable skills in various career fields within the National Park Service.
Vicksburg National Military Park is looking for local students in the 9th - 11th grade who have a passion for learning about new places and ideas, are interested in being leaders in their community by sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with others, and are looking to utilize their creativity through hands-on experiences to learn more about a future career with the NPS.
To be selected, the students will submit essays or another chosen form of creative artistic expression to answer the following question: "A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center suggested that most Americans believe the Civil War is still relevant to American politics and public life today. In what way do the events that occurred 150 years ago in our country continue to hold relevance in your life today?"
For more information or an application to join the Youth Leadership Academy, please contact Melissa Perez at Melissa_Perez@nps.gov or visit our website at www.nps.gov/vick/forkids/youth-leadership-academy.htm.