Cheers and applause greet the first group of this year’s crop of Leadership Victoria graduates.
“Leadership Victoria is a organization that exists to boost community capacity by developing leadership skills.” explains Susan Low, Executive Director of Leadership Victoria.
Those goals are accomplished through the Community Leadership Development Program. People from the public, private and non-profit sectors apply to the program, and over nine months, those accepted hone their leadership skills, and complete a team-based community action project.
One of the 2016 graduates is Marja Blase, who says “when you get five people together, pulling a project in the same direction, it’s amazing what you can get accomplished.”
Marja’s team created a Sanctuary Garden at Jeneece Place.
Kimberley Newton’s team worked hard, “putting benches into elementary schools, and the benches were there to promote friendship.”
Kimberly’s team placed Booster Benches at eleven Victoria elementary schools.
Twenty-five less fortunate across the city received bikes, locks, and helmets from the Pedal Empowerment team.
Past graduates include Maja Tate, Mayor of Sooke, and Dan Gunn, Executive Director of VIATEC, which oversees Victoria’s $3-billion dollar technology industry.
Who knows where this experience will take this year’s grads.
“This has allowed me to strengthen my values” says 2016 graduate Pam Chandla “and really kind of focus on the community, because that’s what leadership is about. It’s about giving back to your community.”
Grad Felicia Rozon says “it gave me a lot more confidence…helped me learn how to better work in a team…with different, diverse groups of people.”
Dozens apply to the Community Leadership Development Program each year. Leadership Victoria accepts twenty-four for the program. So, who are they looking for?
“We’re looking for somebody who is passionate about their community” says Susan Low “and wants to make a difference, and we’re looking for someone who’s ready to commit to a personal development experience.”
Learn more about Leadership Victoria here.