One of the best investments any community can make in its future is the development of its future leaders. This month we will celebrate yet another group of leaders as they graduate through Leadership Toccoa-Stephens County, Class of 2017!
The purpose of the program is to provide emerging leaders both adults and youth with a greater awareness of community issues, needs, services, and resources. Participants will gain insight into ways to exercise meaningful leadership - for the betterment of our community.
The Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce supports the Leadership Board of Directors as they annually hold an Adult Leadership Class as well as a Youth Leadership Class. Each year full-day sessions are planned from August through February, including graduation. Although the participants get traditional leadership training, the focus is on the past, present and future of Toccoa-Stephens County and the systems that make it work. The program curriculum was developed by the Fanning Leadership Institute, at the University of Georgia. The Fanning Institute is nationally recognized in the field of community leadership development.
We are blessed to have the support of our local government and business leaders as they volunteer their time and expertise to facilitate each class and invest in the futures of each participant which ultimately strengthens the future of Toccoa-Stephens County. Both the instructors (our local leaders) and the curriculum guide and encourage participants to put into practice the concepts and skills they learned during the program.
The first session kicks off with a personality profile for each participant and team building challenges. Topics covered in the sessions to follow include Understanding Leadership, Understanding Local Government and Making Group Decisions,
Building Communities Through Collaboration, and Leading Community Change. The participants learn about local government including fire and police protection; social services, civic organizations and community programs; education; the health care industry; and Toccoa-Stephens County legal and political structure. They take field trips to local businesses and industries and get a behind-the- scenes look at these companies. They see economic development in the making and create bonds with fellow participants that last a lifetime.
Each year both the Adult Leadership Class and the Youth Leadership Class take on a community project that they choose to focus their influence and passion. That becomes their first “official” opportunity as a group to make a direct and positive impact on our community. Some of the Leadership Projects in the past include the 1) Development of the Toccoa Walking Trail 2) Leaders and Legacy Recognition Banquet, which raised funding to help our local schools with needed supplies 3) Helping to Promote and Fill the existing need for our local Mentoring Program 4) Partnering with Keep Toccoa-Stephens County Beautiful on local beautification and clean-up projects…and the list goes on.
These Leadership participants groom themselves for leadership positions in their jobs, the local community and the State. The program has alumni in leadership positions at all these levels. Most say their experiences in this program helped them advance and reach their goals. Call the Chamber today at 706-886- 2132 for more detailed information and application.
Strong leadership is key to the future of Toccoa-Stephens County. The Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber takes this charge and opportunity very seriously.