Anticipation was high as Leadership Niagara’s Community Leadership Program convened for the second time this year. On a warm and sunny Friday in late October, it was time for the class of 2018 to select their community project work and decide how they would positively impact the Niagara region over the next 7 months.

Community projects, the cornerstone of the Community Leadership Program, are the way in which program participants engage in the community. During the October Learning Day, Niagara based non-profit organizations pitched specific projects they are seeking assistance with to the program cohort. The participants then selected which organization, and project, they would like to work with during their time in the program. While developing their own leadership skills, the Leadership Niagara participants will work in groups to complete the task set out by the respective non-profit organization they choose to work with.

The non-profit organizations in attendance were the Niagara Farm Project, Niagara Falls Lightning Gymnastics, the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region, Hotel Dieu Shaver, and The Powerhouse Project.

Alternatively, the participants had the option of selecting a “passion project”, where they were able to nominate, vote on, and champion a particular issue facing the Niagara region.

“There was a lot of anticipation going into today because the project selection is such a big part of the program” remarked Andrew Roth, a participant from Brock University, “We have an obligation to our project and to our team, so you don’t want to let either them down; you want to do your best”.

Having 6 non-profit organizations pitch their projects, plus a passion project, meant the 2018 cohort had a lot to consider. As the morning rolled on, and the participants had an opportunity to meet and speak with presenters from the various organizations, the room came alive with chatter. Deciding which non-profit they would ultimately work with, and which project they would choose, dominated the conversation as selection time drew near.

After time for reflection over lunch,  everyone was ready to make their project selection. Participants began to add sticky-notes to chart paper to indicate their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices and the project groups began to fill out.  While it didn’t take long for everyone to make their choices, the groups were still not cemented; some projects needed more bodies, and some projects needed less. After a brief discussion, some idea sharing, and true philanthropic leadership, the groups had reshuffled and the 2018 community projects were set.

Through their chosen projects, the class of 2018 has the potential to make a big impact in the Niagara community as demonstrated by projects from previous years. Often times the Leadership Niagara graduates will go on to become volunteers or board members of the organizations they choose to work with.

“It’s great to see the enthusiasm this year’s cohort has for community engagement.” Said Shane Malcolm, Leadership Niagara’s Executive Director, “All of the organizations here today have amazing stories and projects to offer, so I can imagine the class had some really tough decisions to make. I’m looking forward to seeing the work they do.”

The 2018 Community Leadership Program participants will reconvene on November 17th to continue developing their leadership skills and adding to their skillset for community support.

Thank you to our amazing guests:

  • Damian Goulbourne
  • Adrienne Jugley
  • Adrian Petrachenko

And our awesome facilitators:

  • Alison Braithwaite
  • Holly Catalfamo
  • Kristine Clark
  • Shane Malcolm
  • Jodie Middleton
  • Jeff Sinclair

Stay tuned as we continue to follow the exciting journey of the 2018 Leadership Niagara class!

Cameron Jones
Program Assistant & Marketing Coordinator
Leadership Niagara

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