• Youth Leadership logo

    What is Youth Leadership?

    Youth Leadership is an innovative, leadership development program designed to develop the academic, social and life skills of area youth. Students will have opportunities for substantive interaction with his or her peers, community based service organizations, institutions of higher education, and professionals from local industry.Mentor standing next a student, as he speaks at an event.

    How It Works:

    For the first year, sophomores will build their personal “leadership toolkit” by taking a look within and discovering their strengths and identifying areas for improvement. Students will graduate this track more confident with a clearer understanding of themselves and their abilities. During the second year, as juniors, students will participate in college/real world preparation sessions about résumé writing, interview skills, college applications, paying for college, and finance education. The goal of this track is to prepare students for life beyond high school with a clearer understanding of their education and career plans.

    Track 1 students (sophomores) will participate in 5 hours of community service as a group in the spring. Track 2 students (juniors) will have the ability to complete a 20-hour internship.

    *Online sessions will be alternatively available if in-person meetings are not permitted.

    More about the program:

    Youth Leadership will incorporate prominent community leaders who will host an interactive lesson on various topics including leadership, well-being and community awareness. Sophomores and juniors will have opportunities to participate in this part of the session together.

    Students will emerge from this dynamic program more confident and well-rounded with improved leadership skills and a better understanding of themselves and their community. By the end of the program, participants will achieve more self-confidence and develop skills and attitudes needed for success in college and life. The program also encourages the development of organizational and problem solving skills.

    Schedule Info:

    Youth Leadership sessions are generally held Tuesday evenings once per month from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Dutchess Community College, with the program running September through May. Students will be provided a full schedule prior to the first class.

    Who Is Eligible?

    Youth Leadership is a collaborative effort with area school districts and includes the local community, business leaders and Foundation staff. The program is open to incoming high school sophomore and junior students, and home school students, from Dutchess County.


    A limited amount of scholarships based on financial need are available. Please contact the Foundation office at 845.454.1700 ext. 1025 or email laura@chamberfdn.org.

    In addition, Leadership Dutchess candidates may apply for the Charles S. North Leadership Advancement Scholarship.

    Charles S. North Leadership Advancement Scholarship

    Applications for this scholarship will re-open in Spring 2024.

    In recognition of the outstanding leadership of Dutchess County Regional Chamber Commerce Past President and CEO Charles S. North, a scholarship was established in 2014 upon his retirement. 

    Awarded to any individual living or working in Dutchess County, the Charles S. North Leadership Advancement Scholarship signifies Mr. North’s commitment to inspiring and mentoring leaders across the region.

    To apply, fill out the Leadership Dutchess Application and check the box for “Charles S. North Leadership Advancement Scholarship”. To qualify you must meet the following criteria: 

    • Live or work in Dutchess County or for a member of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
    • Attach a 500 word essay expressing how the program will help you advance your professional career. Incorporate your sentiments on what defines a great leader. In your essay, articulate in 100 additional words the financial need for the scholarship.
    • Applicant's employer must be a member of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
    • You must establish a financial need and desire to participate in the program.

    Full and/or partial scholarships will be awarded.


    For more information or questions about being a part of the program, contact laura@chamberfdn.org at 845-454-1700 ext. 1025.






    2023-2024 Youth Leadership Program Sessions


    • Wednesday, September 6  
      • Parent Orientation – DCC                            6:00 – 7:00 pm
    • Tuesday, September 12         
      • Kickoff Session – DCC                                  6:00 – 8:30 pm
    • Saturday, September 23   
      • Teambuilding Session                                 8:00 am – 12:00 pm 
        • Mariapolis Luminosa, Hyde Park       
    • Tuesday, October 3                 
      • Track Session – DCC                                    6:00 – 8:30 pm
    • Tuesday, November 7           
      • Track Session – DCC                                    6:00 – 8:30 pm
    • Tuesday, December 5             
      • Track Session – DCC                                    6:00 – 8:30 pm
    • Tuesday, January 9                
      • Track Session – DCC                                    6:00 – 8:30 pm
    • Tuesday, February 6                
      • Track Session – DCC                                   6:00 – 8:30 pm
    • Tuesday, March 5                     
      • Track Session – DCC                                  6:00 – 8:30 pm
    • Tuesday, April 9                        
      • Track Session – DCC                                  6:00 – 8:30 pm
    • Tuesday, May 7                         
      • Track Session – DCC                                 6:00 – 8:30 pm
    • June 2024 – Date TBA             
      • ‚ÄčRecognition Dinner-Location TBA          6:00-8:00 pm

  • Youth Leadership is sponsored by:

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