This year’s class had 19 students from both Muskegon Public Schools and Grand Haven Area Public Schools.
The purpose of the Lakeshore Youth Leadership program is to cultivate leadership qualities in students from the communities of Grand Haven and Muskegon. Each year a total of 20 students from eighth and 10th grades are selected from Grand Haven Area Public Schools and Muskegon Public Schools to participate in the program.
The students gain enhanced personal skills and the capacity to create change as leaders. In addition, they obtain a better understanding of each community as well as learning to respect the similarities and differences of each area.
At the graduation celebration, the students shared the impact this leadership program has had on them. Students realized that they have a lot in common with each other. They learned how to break stereotypes and eliminate biases. Several students described how the program encouraged them to not to judge others, but instead show kindness and acceptance.
Students were inspired to step out of their comfort zone to make new relationships and become leaders among their peers. Students also discussed how participating in community service activities encouraged them towards a desire to give back and that they plan to keep volunteering in their communities.
The 2017-18 program was sponsored by 100 Men Who Care, Fifth Third Bank, Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie No. 925, Meijer, Muskegon Community College, ReFab, Rycenga Building Center, Paul A. Johnson Foundation, the Mary C. Payne Fund at Community Foundation of Muskegon County and the Tri-Cities Kiwanis Club.
To learn more about Lakeshore Youth Leadership Connections, contact Nancy Manglos at The Chamber of Commerce at 616-842-0529.