Oktibbeha Young Leaders visit with city government, first responders

Briana Rucker
Staff Writer

The Oktibbeha Young Leaders kicked off their inaugural year by visiting with city government officials and first responders on Tuesday.

"The Oktibbeha Young Leaders had the opportunity to learn more about their community through hands-on experiences with Starkville's government, law enforcement, and fire department," said Jake Goodwin, program coordinator for the Greater Starkville Development Partnership.

Their first visit was to speak with Mayor Lynn Spruill. Next, they sat through a DUI mock trial with Judge Rodney Faver in Municipal Court.

Following their visit at City Hall, the group went to the Starkville Police Department for an introduction to law enforcement and rode in the police cars. They ate lunch and wrapped up their day at Fire Station 3 where they learned about Pafford Emergency Services, and experienced an obstacle course blindfolded.

The group received plenty of knowledge about leadership and teamwork from the leaders in the community. They also received information about the qualifications needed to be in these positions.

"They got a little taste of everything from a meeting with the mayor and a mock trial, to a crime scene investigation course and firefighter training," Goodwin said.
"It was a super successful day.”

The Oktibbeha Young Leaders is a nine-month leadership program for sophomores in the Starkville community, developed by the Greater Starkville Development Partnership and Starkville Rotary Club.

Their mission was to create a group of informed and qualified young leaders who will become business and community leaders of tomorrow.

Together, the group will explore business and economic development, education, law and criminal justice, health care, quality of life, and government.

Chosen students who are a part of this group gain awareness about how leadership affects all aspects of life.

Eligibility is based on the students' submitted application, essay, recommendations, and grade average.

For more information on the Oktibbeha Young Leaders program, please contact Hunter Harrington at (662)-323-3322 or email hharrington@starkville.org.