HCHRA Funds Leadership Academy for Teens

JACKSON, MISS. – Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) partnered with Ask for More Jackson, also known as Parents for Public Schools of Jackson, in its summer internship initiative called “Engage, Enlighten, Employ,” also known as E3, which began in 2014.  With funding provided by HCHRA, E3 launched its first leadership academy for high school students who attend Jackson Public Schools.  The E3 Leadership Academy served 30 students who participated in the summer 2017 internship program with E3.

The program was extended into the fall of the school year so students could continue on with the development of their growth mindset for personal success in life, which began in the summer.  Each E3 Leadership Academy participant constructed the “Well-Being Promise” Plan, which emphasizes wellness, leadership, collaboration, communications, and problem-solving skills for career readiness, and overall well-being.  According to Dr. Earl Watkins, a member of the E3 Leadership Academy staff, the problem-solving component is considered the bedrock of the leadership academy, because the interns will use this concept throughout all activities to develop personal goals and empowerment strategies to fulfill their goals as promises they make to themselves to improve their individual lives and their communities, while becoming advocates of their own learning and growth.  “We are grateful for HCHRA’s commitment to the leadership academy and for helping to transition the teens into a new school year and to focus on self-development,” said Watkins.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation provides funding for E3 during the summer via the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, and HCHRA provided funding for the fall E3 Leadership Academy.  HCHRA is a public, nonprofit community action agency that operates and funds both senior and youth initiatives through its Community Services Block Grant.  “The E3 Leadership Academy perfectly aligns with our goals to provide a stable environment in the home and in the community through education and personal development, and to provide job training and employment assistance,” said Kenn Cockrell, president and CEO of HCHRA.  “As operators of 16 Head Start centers which serve more than 1,900 pre-school-aged children throughout Hinds County, we are very strong proponents of education and development for youth.  We are excited to support the E3 Leadership Academy in its efforts to help teens identify their strengths and prepare for success in life, said Cockrell.  “We hope that through this process, some of the participants will find themselves employed with HCHRA and will use the skills they’ve learned in the leadership academy to help us carry out our mission of helping citizens to overcome poverty and realize their full potential.”

To learn more about HCHRA programs and services, visit www.hchra.org.