Highlights of Youth Leadership and Leadership Dutchess 2022

Highlights of Youth Leadership and Leadership Dutchess 2022

The Chamber Foundation’s Youth Leadership and Leadership Dutchess programs continue to deliver meaningful professional development, leadership skills training, and community involvement opportunities to local teens and adult professionals. As we gear up for graduation season, I’d like to highlight the great work that the Youth Leadership participants and the Leadership Dutchess participants achieved over the past 2021-2022 program year. 
 
Youth Leadership is an innovative two-year leadership development program, open to incoming high school sophomores and juniors and designed to enrich the academic, social, and life skills of area youth. The sophomore students in Track 1 trail blazed a new project by creating a mock nonprofit, in partnership with the Clarkson University Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries. As they built their mock nonprofit over the past six months, students attended workshops from various nonprofit leaders on topics such as nonprofit marketing, finance, human resources, and grant writing. The mock nonprofit project culminated in a Day of Service organized by the students in partnership with Clarkson University’s Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries. On their Day of Service, students learned about estuary ecology, collected marine plastic and other debris from the beaches and trails of Denning’s Point State Park, and categorized and analyzed the debris collected using datasheets and digital apps, to track and report their findings to the world’s largest database on marine debris. The information students gathered at their Day of Service can help researchers develop data-driven solutions to plastic pollution threats. 
 
The junior high school students in Track 2 completed their 20-hour internships at dozens of local organizations and applied their career and college skills at our signature Interview Night event at Dutchess Community College. In addition, students in Tracks 1 and 2 attended combined sessions once per month on career enrichment topics such as public speaking, working effectively in teams, and ethical leadership.  Congratulations to the Youth Leadership students for completing these milestones toward career and college excellence!
 
The 2022 Leadership Dutchess class is also having a banner year. Leadership Dutchess, The Chamber Foundation’s signature leadership program, has been educating local citizens for more than 30 years in leadership professional development and community involvement. Since October, this year’s cohort met monthly on session topics such as Project Management, Interpersonal Communication, Public Speaking, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Emotional Intelligence and Wellness, and Board Roles and Responsibilities. The class also volunteered at various local nonprofits and organized a class fundraising project to raise $25,000. Their class project, Passport to Dutchess County, is a passport book containing $100 worth of discounts and other perks to local restaurants, wineries, and breweries – at only $50 per book. Consider supporting the Leadership Dutchess Class of 2022’s class project fundraiser by visiting dcrcoc.org and purchasing your own Passport to Dutchess County. Proceeds benefit The Chamber Foundation’s general scholarship fund. Congratulations to the class of 2022 for their hard work on the class fundraiser project! 
 
Excited to join Youth Leadership or Leadership Dutchess next year? We are taking applications for the Youth Leadership and Leadership Dutchess 2023 cohorts: both programs kick off in October 2022. The deadline to apply for both programs is June 30. Please visit chamberFDN.org/leadership-programs to learn more and apply online today. For any questions, please contact me at laura@chamberfdn.org or (845) 454-1700 ext. 1025.