Earlier this week fifteen young adults began a four day seminar in practical politics in preparation for work as “interns� or “fellows� with on-going political campaigns in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.   The participants in the pilot Summer 2006 Leadership and Public Policy Academy will work to learn the “nuts and bolts� of political campaigning from professional campaign workers, and current and former candidates.  Sponsored by the First Progressive Club of St. Petersburg and Equality Florida, the Academy will be lead by Rev. Charles McKenzie, Rainbow Push’s Florida representative and Mrs. Celeste Thomas, ninth grade guidance counselor at Lakewood High School.  

      The participants who range in age from 15 to 23 years come from five Pinellas County high schools, the University of South Florida, PTEC and Hillsborough Community College.  The non-partisan Academy will prepare the participants to work for three weeks as fulltime fellows or part time interns during the current election cycle and support their work with education grants.  

      A goal of the Academy is to create a community of young people who understand that politics and government belong to them as citizens of a democracy.  By supporting their practical education in the way government and politics work, the Academy and its supporters are making an investment in the future of our neighborhoods, our cities and our world.  Individuals and organizations are invited to support the Academy or an individual participant by making a tax-deductible contribution to Equality Florida Human Rights Education Project, Inc., PO Box 13184, St. Petersburg, Florida 33733. Our guests were Rev. MacKenzie and three of the student participants.   

Please make donations to: Adrien W. Helm 867-5947

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