Bergen LEADS, the County’s first and only civic leadership program, began its seminar year September 10. The program, sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, prepares leaders to tackle the tough challenges facing Bergen County today and in the future.
Among the 30 students accepted into the program though a competitive process in early 2012 are Paramus residents Rachel Glickman and Denise Andersen, Susan Usatine of River Edge, Evan Miller of Berkeley College in Paramus, and Betty Garger of the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, in Paramus.
Bergen Leads members meet monthly to dissect issues, debate viewpoints and develop approaches to community problems. Under the guidance of former Bergen County Executive William “Pat” Schuber, Bergen LEADS Seminar Director, participants are immersed in a stimulating curriculum that not only introduces them to topical issues of local importance, but also enables them to explore their leadership styles, enhance their leadership capacity and become meaningfully engaged in helping to solve some of the challenges facing Bergen County.
“We are thrilled with the level of commitment and energy that this new class demonstrates. A critical component of Bergen LEADS is developing in participants a sense of responsibility for the community,” says Amanda Missey, Bergen LEADS Director. “We’re eager to see what this class will accomplish. Will they champion a cause? Run for office? Launch a social enterprise venture? Lead a community organization? The sky’s the limit.”
Members of the 2012-2013 Bergen LEADS class also represent West Bergen Mental Health Care, the Carlstadt Police Department, Kreisler Manufacturing in Elmwood Park, JCDTalks, Rutgers University Newark, Gilda’s Club Northern New Jersey, Flaghouse, Archer & Greiner PC, Boiling Springs Savings Bank, ISED Solutions, Five Star Premier Residence, Kallman Worldwide, Pascack Valley Meals on Wheels, Spectrum for Living, United Water, Rockland Electric, Environmental Waste Management Associates, Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute, and PSEG.
Bergen LEADS seeks individuals from all ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds who espouse different political, religious and social views for future classes. Visit www.bergenleads.org for more information. Applications for the next Bergen LEADS class will be accepted January 1 to April 2, 2013.