The program geared towards 9th grade young women honors the legacy of the state’s first female Lt. Governor Evelyn Gandy while providing opportunities to engage in the Hattiesburg community.
State Representative Missy McGee has launched a six-week program that aims to empower young Hattiesburg women through programming that addresses their sense of self and their place in the community through civic engagement.
McGee named the program The Evelyn Gandy Leadership Academy for Young Women after Evelyn Gandy, the first female state representative from Forrest County, the first female State Treasurer, and the first female Lieutenant Governor.
The legislative seat held by McGee now – House District 102 – is the same one Gandy held when she won in 1947 at the age of 27. McGee has held the seat since 2017.
“Her story of determination and courage is an inspiration to me, and she has served as a trailblazer for all women who have walked behind her with a desire to enter into public service,” McGee wrote on Facebook announcing the program.
McGee said participants in the program will learn from strong female leaders in the local area while also exploring several pillars of the Pine Belt economy including economic development, education and health care. McGee hopes the opportunities will help set up each of young women involved for success in achieving personal and professional goals.
Those interested in applying for the first Gandy Leadership Academy must be enrolled as a ninth-grade student in a local high school or home school program, attend orientation and a minimum of five program sessions, live in the city limits of Hattiesburg, and complete the application which is by 5pm on Wednesday, October 4, 2023.
McGee said all selected applicants will be notified by Friday, October 6, 2023.
The application for The Evelyn Gandy Leadership Academy for Young Women is online here.