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Today's Family Magazine

Leadership Lake County youth leadership programs open for enrollment

Leadership Lake County is pleased to announce its two programs designed for students are now open for enrollment.

The Junior Leadership Program is a nine-month program for students entering 10th through 12th grade to acquire leadership skills and increase civic engagement.  The Youth Leadership Academy is for students entering grades six through eight.

“We are excited to continue the legacy of leadership these programs have inspired in our youth since 1997,” states CEO Dr. Jessie Baginski.  “It’s wonderful to stay connected to these students and see them mature into outstanding community and business leaders because of the experiences they had in middle or high school to find their voice and have the option to lead at a young age.  We look to balance our class rosters across age, gender, race and even grade point average.  Students learn leadership is an action, not a measure of test results.  We know some of our most influential leaders were average students who were given the right opportunities to lead.”

The deadline to apply for either program is April 29, orientations are in May, and both programs begin in August.

The Junior Leadership Program focuses on 21st century workforce skill development including collaboration, critical thinking, communication, creativity, life and career skills, and information technology skills.  Tuition is $425 (nonrefundable).

The Youth Leadership Academy is an eight-month program for students to learn the basics of goal setting, communication, time management and community service skills.  It focuses on skill development as it relates to leadership, critical thinking and problem solving, goal setting, working with others, communication skills, and service in the community.  This program is a unique opportunity designed to guide students to reach his or her full potential.  Tuition is $350 (nonrefundable).

Monthly program days provide students with a behind-the-scenes look at Lake County through on-site visits, guest speakers, and experiential learning activities.  Students are introduced to various sectors of the county including government, health and human services, business, and recreation.  A class project fosters the development of leadership skills and service learning through a community impact project requiring research, action, and reflection.

The Junior Leadership Program educates students not only how to be a leader, but it also helps students broaden their horizons about potential careers and employers, said Wickliffe High School student Zach Touschner.

“One thing that I learned that I will apply to my life would be the fact that many places, like Lincoln Electric, have so many more job positions than just welders.  This information can be useful when I graduate college and begin looking for a job.” 

Natalie Boskovic, a Harvey High School student, enjoys learning while being pushed out of her comfort zone in a good way. 

“It's nice to be able to meet people from other schools that you wouldn't normally get the opportunity to meet.  I really enjoyed how inclusive all of the games and activities we did were.  They all made sure that everyone participated.  I was even able to get a little bit out of my comfort zone and have some fun, which was really great.”  

A limited number of partial scholarships based on financial need also are available to help defray the tuition for the two youth programs.

Applications and additional information are available online for each youth programs at

For more information about Leadership Lake County, visit or like us on Facebook at