What is the Youth Leadership Oklahoma Class?
Leadership Oklahoma annually recruits 50 high school student leaders from across Oklahoma who have completed their junior year in high school to participate in a leadership training program. The intent of the program is to develop young leaders who feel a hope, pride and responsibility for Oklahoma’s future. While we are modeled after the Leadership Oklahoma’s adult leadership program, we have added elements to develop a student’s skills and positive character traits within the context of a tour across Oklahoma.
What happens during a class day?
Using hands-on experiences, sessions may include tours, role-playing, panel presentations, videos, lectures, games, question and answer sessions and other activities and opportunities. Our opening retreat is organized to develop a high comfort level among class members, and our closing retreat is geared to show students how to apply what they’ve learned throughout the tour and to appropriately recognize participants.
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When are the sessions?
The five-day Oklahoma tour is held each year in June.
What are the benefits to class members?
LOK seeks demonstrated leaders for class membership in Youth Leadership Oklahoma. The program helps refine participants’ leadership skills. We expand their knowledge of Oklahoma—its treasures, issues, concerns, sources of pride and goals for the future. We work to develop life skills that can enhance participants’ success now and later, and we encourage reflection and goal setting. Classes are selected with an eye toward gender balance, racial diversity and cultural diversity. Exposure to others with dissimilar backgrounds is a major benefit of YLOK. We anticipate the friendships developed with other youth and adults to be one of the major benefits to everyone involved.
Who is eligible to apply?
High school juniors are eligible. They must attend school in Oklahoma.
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How much does the class cost?
Each class member receives a scholarship that covers tuition, housing, meals, transportation and materials. Corporate and private donations cover all costs.
How do students apply?
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Applications are emailed and mailed to every Oklahoma high school in September. The application is also posted in the Applications section of the Leadership Oklahoma Web site. The completed application includes a permission form from a parent/guardian and a school administrator and one recommendation from an adult who knows the student well. A selection committee of LOK graduates reads each completed application and chooses 50 for class participation.