The Junior Leadership Anderson is a high-yield investment in the future of Anderson County. Since 1993, the program has been sponsored by the Leadership Anderson Board of Regents of the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce, and has encouraged, equipped, and empowered hundreds of high school juniors from Anderson County to be more effective leaders and to “bring those skills back home”!
The selection process for participation in Junior Leadership Anderson is rigorous. Students who wish to apply complete a written application, with an attached resume. The “blinded” applications are then read and scored by volunteers and 75 students are selected to participate in a personal interview process, which are conducted in groups of five. Using the application and interview scores, 35 students are selected for the class.
The program runs annual from January until May. Instructional strategies include: lecture/discussion, role playing, team projects, group/individual activities, video, field trips, and material development/research. The program offers five monthly sessions made up of skills modules to address understanding yourself as a leader, team building, meeting and event management, effective communication, and time/information management. In addition, community awareness modules include: government and infrastructure, education, business/economics, health and community services and criminal justice. In addition to these modules, each student is assigned to a committee that is responsible for a community or leadership project. They visit areas of the community they have never seen, meet people they would never have met, become involved in issues they did not know existed, and explore potential they did not know they had.
The ultimate community impact of the program is yet to be determined, however if you ask any volunteer working with the program, he or she will tell you that they have a renewed faith in youth and believe that training and nurturing these future community leaders is truly a high-yield investment.
Program Goal: The JLA program will encourage, equip, and empower young people for successful community leadership.
- The youth of a community are one of its most valuable resources.
- Leadership skills can be learned and will improve when nurtured.
- Programs that encourage youth to become involved in their local community are vital to the future of that community.
- Superior academic ability is not necessarily a prerequisite for leadership.
- Access to leadership programs should only be limited by individual effort and space availability.
- All activities and programs within a leadership program should focus on the program goal.
- Students will understand the costs, benefits, and challenges of leadership.
- Students will identify and practice skills necessary for effective leadership.
- Students will identify and visit businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations involved in community development, management, and operation.
- Students will design and conduct a community project and/or activity.
- Students will develop a leadership resource manual.
For more information about Junior Leadership Anderson or to enroll in the next class, please contact the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce at 864-226-3454 or visit www.andersonscchamber.com