NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 community is entering its 13th year of bringing positive change through education and community involvement.
The Newport Area Chamber of Commerce will welcome its 13th annual New Vision Newport class this fall.
The New Vision Newport Program is an opportunity for those in Newport and Jackson County to learn more about the area and make change.
It's an 8 month course where individuals learn about the place they live and also work on projects to better the community.
Executive Director of the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce Julie Allen said the course meets once a month and kicks off in September with an overnight retreat.
Allen said those in the class learn about team building while also learning about themselves.
Each year the class breaks up into teams and works with area non-profits and businesses on a project.
Previous classes are responsible for projects like the Walk of Honor for veterans and public servants.
A New Vision Newport team also put together the plan for the downtown park which is still being constructed.
Allen said the New Vision Newport Program is her favorite part of her job because everyone is able to learn something they didn't know.
"Born and raised in Newport or Jackson County, and they think that they know everything there is to know and they are surprised, pleasantly surprised, at what they don't know and what they can go out and do to affect positive change here in our community," Allen said.
Many businesses sponsor employees to take the class. Allen said there are scholarships available for the tuition, as well.
The tuition takes care of all materials, events, meetings and food for the duration of the class.
Applications for the program are available at the chamber officer until August 7.
Allen said 20 people will be chosen for the class.
She said a great part of the program is seeing what class members have done after finishing the program.
Allen said many elected officials have taken this course before being elected, including school board members and a county judge.
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