Applications for the 2015-16 Hancock Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA), an initiative of the Hancock Resource Center, will be available to interested junior high and high school students who show leadership potential beginning on September 28, 2015. The HYLA director and program staff will be visiting all four area schools during that week to provide informational sessions for prospective eighth grade and eleventh grade leaders.
Two separate programs will be offered again this upcoming year. The ideal candidate for the junior high program is an eighth grade student from one of the four middle schools in Hancock County (or homeschooled equivalent) that has leadership potential, but has not yet had the opportunity to discover it. Four sessions are scheduled throughout the spring semester, with a retreat and graduation in May 2016. The cost of the program is $150 per student; applicants may request scholarships through the school that they attend.
The HYLA high school program is based on the six building blocks of community development: Business Development; Workforce Development; Physical Infrastructure; Social Infrastructure; Cultural and Environmental Stewardship; and Civic Infrastructure. This program targets eleventh grade students from all Hancock County schools (as well as their home-schooled equivalents) who aspire to sharpen leadership skills and to embed those skills in civic commitment. The successful applicant will be the student who is able to: 1) balance academics and multiple activities while prioritizing this program; 2) plan and complete both individual and group projects; 3) be open-minded, have a positive attitude, and the capacity to enhance leadership skills; and 4) demonstrate a commitment to the community. Focused sessions include such topics as: How to Affect Change; Civic Engagement; Career Planning and Budgeting; Economic Development and Entrepreneurship; College Planning (overnight "College Cruise"); and Community Assets. The cost of the program is $250; applicants may request scholarships through the school that they attend.
Applications will be available beginning September 28 through all area schools, on the Hancock Resource Center website, www.hancockhrc.org, or by visiting the HRC offices in Waveland. The deadline for submission of both junior high and high school applications is October 26, 2015. HYLA staff will hold a workshop for interested high school applicants on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 7:00pm at the Hancock Resource Center office, located at 308 Highway 90, Suite D in Waveland (behind McDonald’s, across from the movie theater). This workshop will cover in detail the application and interview process as well as expectations for essay submission. Contact Rhonda Rhodes or Paige Lundgren for more information, 228-463-8887.
The Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald recently announced the VA’s continued effort to end Veteran homelessness and increase access to crucial services with the renewal of approximately $300 million in grants under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. Hancock Resource Center (HRC) is one of 286 grantees across the nation to receive SSVF funding which supports outreach, case management, and other flexible assistance to prevent Veteran homelessness or rapidly re-house Veterans who become homeless. HRC has operated the SSVF program for the past two years, serving over 50 Veterans in Hancock and Harrison counties by providing a mix of services they need to gain housing and stay housed.
Iin addition to providing key housing services, HRC has added another significant element to the wraparound services available to Veterans experiencing homelessness on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced in June the award of nearly $35 million in grants to provide Veterans with job-driven training for in-demand jobs to help them successfully transition from homelessness to sustainable housing and good civilian jobs. The Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP) has proven highly effective in helping Veterans overcome obstacles to employment and sustainable housing. Hancock Resource Center was awarded a contract to create a Veteran Employment Network, connecting Veterans in Hancock, Harrison, and Pearl River Counties with employers based upon key skills inventories and employer-specific needs. Homeless Veterans will receive occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance, including follow-up services.
Veteran homelessness is down significantly since the launch of the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in 2010. Since 2010, nearly 230,000 Veterans and their family members have been permanently housed, rapidly rehoused or prevented from falling into homelessness by VA’s homelessness programs and targeted housing vouchers provided by HUD. HVRP, through the Department of Labor, is the only federal program that focuses exclusively on employment of Veterans who are experiencing homelessness and perfectly complements the VA’s efforts to keep vulnerable Veterans stably housed and thriving in the long term.
Employers interested in learning more about the Veteran Employment Network should contact Rhonda Rhodes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 228-463-8887. For more information about these or any HRC programs, please visit www.hancockhrc.org.