The Phi (21st) class of the Washington County Leadership Institute (WCLI) begins February 17th! Have you thought about attending, but you’re just not sure? According to Sigma class participant Crystal Hitchings, Washington County Council of Governments and DownEast Acadia Regional Tourism, “My life will never be the same. There is nowhere to go from here except forward.” This could be your year!
According to Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) Assistant Director Jennifer Peters, who has overseen the program since 2002, “Each class is made up of diverse individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, and that is what makes the program work so well. This program is for anyone!”
Applications and a course brochure are available online at www.washingtoncountyleadership.org, as well as SCEC’s Calais office at Washington County Community College and Machias office at 7 Ames Way, beside the Machias Grange.
The Phi class will spend over 70 hours in leadership sessions, group activities, and team building exercises. In addition, they will explore different parts of the county that they may not have seen before, and will work on a team project, moving beyond theory to practicum, and helping to discover how they can, collaboratively, make Downeast Maine a better place in which to live, work and play. The Institute includes nine day-long sessions held throughout the county.
“This is a program that I wish I had participated in sooner,” Upsilon (2016) alum Debi Beal from Pine Tree Legal said. “The use of stories to experience leadership is a nontraditional way of creating leaders in our community.”
Peters added that the $575 tuition should not be seen as a barrier to participation. Scholarship funds are being sought to help individuals who wish to attend but need assistance with tuition.
“We’ve never turned anyone away because they couldn’t afford the cost to attend,” Peters said. She added that area sponsors – including businesses and nonprofits – help to keep the cost down to the participant.
“Our sponsors have been great,” she said, “they introduce the class to their own organization and explain the importance of leadership skills in their world. They give real examples, with a different perspective on ‘leadership’ and what it means to be a leader.”
Last year’s sponsors included the Washington County Council of Governments, the Boston Foundation, the Eaton Foundation, Machias Savings Bank, Northern Maine Development Commission, RHR Smith & Co., SCEC, Cherryfield Foods/Maine Wild Blueberry, and the University of Maine at Machias.
For more information, to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, or to apply, contact Jennifer Peters at 255-0983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.