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CALENDAR ITEM: MU Hosting Summer Leadership Academy to Teach Kids How to Give Back to the Community

July 6th, 2015

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

WHAT:           Graduate students at the University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs are hosting a five day summer camp, the Truman Leadership Academy, to engage adolescents in civic and community service. The academy is for children who are entering the seventh, eighth or ninth grades and will feature service projects and other community improvement ventures for students. Some of the activities will include:

  • Creation of “ideal service projects,” with an emphasis on teaching students about the planning and implementation of service projects;
  • A Columbia City Hall tour with opportunities for students to mock advocate for their proposed service projects in the city hall council chamber;
  • A service project in Flat Branch Park;
  • A “White House Decision Center,” during which students will simulate the complicated processes behind important government decisions;
  • A presentation on communication and leadership presented by the Civil Air Patrol.

“MU is more than just an academic institution; this program gives kids opportunities to learn about and develop interests in some of the many fields the university makes available,” said Harrison McLean, leader of the camp and a graduate student in the Truman School of Public Affairs. “Ultimately, we want to emphasize the importance of community involvement and demonstrate how positive interactions with others lead to improved surroundings. Instilling these values when people are young goes a long way toward bettering the state of local communities.”

The program was created in 2013 by Truman School of Public Affairs graduate students, and will continue as an annual summer academy operated by students as part of internships required for their degrees. The program is funded through sponsorships from the MU Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative, the Kids First Optimist Club, the Institute of Public Policy in the Truman School of Public Affairs and private donations.

WHO:             Participants include youth entering the seventh, eighth or ninth grades

WHEN:           Monday, July 13 – Friday, July 17

                       Media are invited to attend Wednesday, July 15 and Thursday, July 16                    

WHERE:        MU campus and downtown Columbia

NOTE:           If any media wish to attend a session of the academy, contact Nathan Hurst:, 573-882-6217.