News and Events

Junior Leadership DeSoto Class II is Now Open for Enrollment
September 10, 2020

The lack of opportunity to keep youth activity involved and away from risky behaviors is a big concern in our rural community. To help combat this issue, The QuitDoc Foundation successfully partnered with Drug Free DeSoto and The School Board of DeSoto County to offer the first ever Junior Leadership Program last year.

The idea behind the program is to provide local youth with the opportunity to learn more about our community, the components that contribute to its success and operation, and encourage these young leaders to advocate for their health and future by combating tobacco use and social norms.

Junior Leadership DeSoto Class I was huge success. The class met for 2 community class days where they were able to tour numerous businesses and organizations within our community:  DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office, DeSoto Memorial Hospital, Emergency Management Operations, Arcadia Stockyard, DeSoto Solar Field, and Joshua Citrus… just to name a few.

During class days, youth spoke with employees and learned about the components of their jobs, including education, training, leadership, and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. When these young advocates were not participating in class days, they were actively educating community partners on the goals and initiatives of our Tobacco Free Partnership and Students Working Against Tobacco, as well as volunteering in our community.

We are excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for our Junior Leadership Class II. This year, we will be increasing our community engagement by hosting four community class days as opposed to two. We will also be putting social distancing measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

Class I was a great success and an amazing opportunity for our youth. They were able to see the importance of living a healthy, productive lifestyle, while also learning about all the career opportunities that lie ahead in our community. We know that Class II will not disappoint, and we very much look forward to working with this new group of Junior Leaders.

If you know of a Junior that may be interested in joining Class II, a list of requirements and application information can be obtained from Bruce Blanden at DHS. Deadline to apply is October 1st. 

If you are interested in joining forces to ensure the sustainability of this program, or hosting our class at your organization, please contact Jodie DeLoach at or Asya Shine