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The Partnership & Starkville Rotary announce inaugural Oktibbeha Young Leaders Program

The Greater Starkville Development Partnership and Starkville Rotary Club have teamed up to organize the first-ever Oktibbeha Young Leaders program.

Beginning in the fall of 2018, the nine-month leadership program for high school sophomores is designed to develop an energetic and diverse group of informed and qualified students who will become Starkville’s future business and community leaders.

Partnership CEO Scott Maynard said, “We’re looking forward to partnering with the Rotary Club to provide this program to our community’s youth.”

Rotary Club member and former Partnership chair Michelle Amos said, “Thanks to the leadership and cooperation of the Partnership, the Starkville Rotary Club is going to be able to implement a program we’ve considered for several years. As both organizations recognize the importance of strong educational opportunities in a thriving community, this partnership is perfect. We are able to offer a fantastic program for upcoming sophomores to broaden their horizons and further develop their leadership skills.”

Oktibbeha Young Leaders will allow students to explore varying aspects of business and economic development, education, law and criminal justice, health care, quality of life, and government.

Activities from the program are designed to develop skills in teamwork and collaboration, problem solving, communication, organization and planning, ethics, networking, personal development and leadership skills.

Oktibbeha Young Leaders is currently accepting applications from high school freshmen within the Starkville community who will be sophomores for the 2018-2019 school year.

Membership director for the Partnership and Rotary member Hunter Harrington is coordinating the program and said she’s excited to kick start Oktibbeha Young Leaders.

“Oktibbeha Young Leaders is so unique because it’s going to provide so many great experiences for participants, and our youth will be able to collaborate with local businesses, as well as other community resources to gain opportunities that so many people don’t get to have,” said Harrington.

To be eligible for Oktibbeha Young Leaders, students must be a high school sophomore the following year, maintain an 80% grade point average, submit an online application and essay, and have two recommendations. The application process is completely online and can be found at

Applications for the inaugural class are due March 9 at midnight. All parts of the application process must be completed online by the deadline.

For more information regarding the program or for questions concerning applications, contact Hunter Harrington at (662)-323-3322 or by email at

The Partnership is comprised of the Starkville Area Chamber of Commerce, Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority, Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Starkville Main Street Association.