Tulsa Young Professionals executive director Andrea Pemberton said the current political climate makes it more important for young leaders to be ready for the future, but she fears the deep division within our country could convince some to stay out of politics.
"It's challenging to watch our nation go through this," Pemberton said. "But I hope that young professionals really take the call to action to be the change that they want to see."
Organizers at TYPROS, Tulsa’s Young Professionals, have created a four-month program called 918 Leads.
The program will offer participants the opportunity to be mentored by past and current elected officials. The elected leaders will teach participants how to run a political campaign and bring them along a day in the life of an elected official.
"It's even more important for our young people because they are going to grow into the leaders that will be making these decisions," Pemberton said. "The more knowledgeable they are about it, the better all our systems and processes will be."
Pemberton admits the storming of the U.S. Capitol could convince some young Tulsans to steer away from politics altogether. By connecting them with local leaders, Pemberton hopes the 918 Leads program will give them a different perspective.
"I think it's a disconnect between constituents and their actual leaders, especially in Tulsa," Pemberton said. "It's so easy to access your city counselor and school board leaders."
Applications for the program start Monday and will close by the end of January. The program will be open to Tulsa County residents between the ages of 18 and 40.