DESOTO – Adults and interested students in DeSoto can get an insider’s look at what it takes to make a city run at the upcoming DeSoto Civic Academy. Beginning on August 16, attendees will have the chance to learn about DeSoto’s history, tour City facilities, get a behind-the-scenes look at each department and the services offered, and experience first-hand the equipment used to provide these services.
Kathy Jones, Public Information Officer for the City of DeSoto said the Civic Academy has been held for the last 18 years for adults, aged 18 and over. Last year a Junior Civic Academy for high school Juniors and Seniors was also added.
“This program was created as a way to inform the public about the day to day operations of our municipality and also as a way to identify community volunteers who might be interested in serving on a city board or commission or possibly even running for City Council or Mayor.” Jones said.
The program is structured so each of the 11 weeks is hosted by a different City department. The first session is hosted by City Administration and the City Manager’s office, then Police, Fire, Development Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, the Library, Parks and Recreation, DEDC, Southwest Regional Communications and finishing with the City Secretary’s office.
Another benefit the Academy offers was made obvious when the Junior Civic Academy was added since students who successfully complete the JCA are eligible for a summer internship with a City Department the following summer.
“Our first group of high school interns just completed their assignments last week,” Jones said. “We are looking forward to a new group of interns for Summer 2019 that will come out of the Junior Civic Academy beginning on August 16, 2018.”
The free program accepts 25 participants and last 11 weeks. It is held at least once a year. The classes are from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. and participants must be willing to commit the time necessary to complete the intense program.
“This program has been very important for the City because it serves as an opportunity for citizens to meet our staff and find out first hand, how the city operates,” Jones concluded. “We have seen citizens who were critical of city government become our biggest supporters.”
For more information contact Nelda Bond at 972.230.9643 or email her at [email protected] to request an application. The Civic Academy is open to the first 25 DeSoto citizens who submit a completed application.