Contact: Roberta Cox, 214-768-2335

August 22, 2005


DALLAS (SMU) – The Perkins Youth School of Theology at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology is accepting applications from high school juniors who are interested in becoming youth leaders in their churches and communities. The application deadline is Sept. 30.

The two-year program is structured for youth engaged in social service projects or who are interested in community or church service. It guides them in developing their ability to witness to their Christian faith and helps them reflect on their work from a religious perspective.

Youth School participants are paired with mentors who help them understand the importance of serving others, their communities and their churches. They commit to three service projects each month and meet monthly with their mentors. They also come to the SMU/Perkins campus for meetings and workshops and attend a three-week Summer Academy currently held at SMU-in-Taos that includes classes and visits to social service organizations.

“Most of all, our youth scholars concentrate on making life count,” said The Rev. Tonya Burton, director of the Perkins Youth School program. “They do this by volunteering at their churches and organizations, such as Central Dallas Ministries, Project Transformation, Salvation Army, Austin Street Shelter and Agape Clinic.”

Youth School alumna Erika Zamora of Dallas said, “My participation in the Youth School has made me more aware of my faith and beliefs. Through my community service projects, I learned that I can make a difference in the lives of others.”

Chelsea Shepard of Arlington, another former program participant, said, “The Perkins Youth School has allowed me to learn about different cultures, and I have a better sense of community, love and acceptance. This experience has helped me grow spiritually and mentally.”

For more information on the Perkins Youth School of Theology, please call Rev. Burton at 214-768-1333 or go to . To access the Youth School application, go to .

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