On May 13, 2014, Jessica M. Tolbert was presented four awards from the Youth Leadership Development Program (YLDP).
These awards included a diploma of completion of the program, YLDP Student of the Year Award, Walsh Academy of Leadership Top Junior Award, and Birmingham Southern College Students in Service Scholarship.
Jessica served as a member and a Birmingham Division Group 3 Council Senator for the 2013-2014 YLDP year. Jessica is a rising senior at Homewood High School and serves as a National Honor Society Member, American Legion Auxiliary member and chaplain, and HHS debate team captain. She looks forward to participating in the YLDP next year. She was chosen to represent Homewood High School at the 2014 session of American Legion Auxiliary Alabama Girls State, held on the campus of the University of Alabama. For one week, she was a citizen of an imaginary state, taking part in the political life of her community, primarily through campaigning for elected city, county, and state offices. She learned the operation of the government by participating in community caucuses and through the election process. Well known speakers and other city, county, and state officials visited and enlightened the young women on their civic responsibilities.
Jessica had plans to campaign for the office of Attorney General. Miss Tolbert spoke to her sponsoring organization, Unit 134, and to other organizations upon invitation about her sponsoring experience at Girls State. The daughter of Miriam and Tyrone Tolbert, Jessica was selected to attend the Girls State Program because of her outstanding leadership.
Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Alabama Girls State is a laboratory of practical government, and a personal application of the duties, responsibilities, and privileges of being an American. In her high school and local community, Miss Tolbert is also involved with Congregation Beth Hallel Birmingham, Homewood High School Track and Field, Debate team, National Honor Society, and Teen Court. Jessica returned from Girls State on June 13. She says, “It was a phenomenal experience.” She listened to several dynamic speakers during her week ( June 8-13 ) at Girls State.
These speakers included Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey and Google executive Nan Boden. She also met Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. Later on in the week she was elected Girls State Attorney General. She was also awarded a $12,000 scholarship from the University of Alabama and a $6,00 scholarship from Auburn University. At the closing ceremony Ms. Lee Sellers announced that Jessica Tolbert was one of 100 girls selected from across the nation who will be attending Girls State 2014 at Girls Nation this month.