Each member of the 2014-2015 Mayor’s Star Council (MSC) class joined this civic-minded organization for their respective reason(s), however the common thread, tying our class together lies in our unequivocal commitment to service and to the city of Dallas. Over the course of the next 12 months our class will collectively immerse themselves in a variety of service-oriented endeavors – most notably, the “MSC Project.” In short, the “MSC Project” is a continuation of the capstone project introduced by the original MSC classes, which specifically, focuses on developing and cultivating a group of young student leaders from five high schools located within the Mayor’s GrowSouth initiative (Adamson, Roosevelt, Madison, South Oak Cliff, Lincoln). This group of nearly 30 sophomore student leaders, from across the five GrowSouth campuses, is selected through an application process, to form, The Mayor’s Rising Star Council (MRSC). While assuming a number of responsibilities, the primary function of the MRSC is to work alongside the MSC class to define and implement a culminating project that not only builds their leadership capacity, but also allows the MRSC to connect with and better understand their local communities through the creation of a tangible deliverable.

As the 2014-2015 Project Committee launches its 2014-2015 campaign, we are most excited about building on the strength and momentum of past MRSC classes. Now in its third year, the MSC has been able to foster and facilitate the development of two incredible MRSC classes. These past classes will now serve as ambassadors and alumni not only to the upcoming MRSC class, but also as MRSC ambassadors within the context of their respective schools and local communities.

Over the course of the last several weeks’ the MSC Project Committee has started meeting with school leadership from the GrowSouth schools in an effort to develop a MRSC recruitment strategy as well as identify key points of contacts at each school. In our early meetings with school leadership, the positive impact the MRSC program has had within the schools is clearly evident. This impact is primarily the result of the strong relationship’s earlier MSC classes have formed with school leaders – an aspect (relationship building), which our committee will certainly continue to perpetuate during our efforts this year.

Both the importance and difficulty of the nature of the work that lie ahead of our group is humbling. With that said, the collective opportunity we, the MSC, are afforded in working with a unique group such as the MRSC to create something of value for the city of Dallas, serves as one of the primary reasons we each committed to this organization. In the next month, the MSC Project Committee will release the 2014-2015 MRSC application to students, select our 2014-2015 MRSC class, engage the larger MSC group with the MSC Project and Project Calendar, and continue to build awareness of the MRSC throughout the GrowSouth schools and their communities.

The power of this MSC Project exists in its collaborative nature. We truly have a blank piece of paper in front of us – and we look forward to what we are able to collectively design for the betterment of the city of Dallas.