Juniors Improve Community

Sarah Long, reporter

Junior Leadership Academy (JLA), sponsored by the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce, held the first session Sept. 5. Designed to help students,the program allows for opportunities available in Fort Smith while growing leadership skills.
“JLA is a great opportunity to learn about your community and grow as a person. It is a fantastic program and a great experience,” junior Miles Epperson said.
Students apply for JLA at the end of sophomore year to participate during junior year. The program consists of thirty-seven juniors from surrounding areas.
“My goal for this program is for the students that complete JLA to have a better understanding of what is available for them in their community,” director Susan Krafft said.
Students divide into groups of five for eight months to develop a project. Projects impact Fort Smith. JLA participants, Lily Smith and Madison Settlage theorize ideas for the beautification of the town through benches honoring the U.S Marshals.
“We can have an impact by students going through this program, learning how to get involved, and coming up with some really cool ideas that are going to span beyond our community,” Chamber Director of Operations Tonya Sarlls said.