Thursday, January 22, 2015

Candidates Sought for Leadership Program

Bergen LEADS - an innovative, 10-month learning and leadership program for adults who live or work in Bergen County - is now accepting applications for the Class of 2016. Bergen LEADS, now in its sixth year, is offered by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County.

Under the guidance of former Bergen County Executive William “Pat” Schuber, the LEADS Seminar Director, participants are immersed in a stimulating curriculum that introduces them to issues of local importance and encourages them to explore their leadership style, enhance their leadership capacity and become meaningfully engaged in helping to solve some of the challenges facing Bergen County.

The online application form for the Class of 2016, which begins in September 2015, can be accessed at and is due by April 11, 2015. Each candidate must complete a simple individual profile form and provide essay answers to specific questions. The new class of 30 participants will be announced in June.

“When you look at recent history, the major turmoils are caused in part, by a lack of effective leadership at many levels,” says Janet Sharma, the Center’s executive director. “Consequently, a persistent question facing every sector is ‘where will the next generation of ethical, effective leaders come from?’” Enter Bergen LEADS, which prepares leaders to take the helm in the years ahead.

“Diversity of participants is essential,” continues Ms. Sharma. Applicants from business, nonprofit, civic and faith-based organizations and government agencies, as well as from the community at large, are encouraged to apply. Bergen LEADS seeks representation from the broad array of ethnic, racial, religious and socio-economic groups within Bergen County. Tuition for Bergen LEADS is $2,000 per person; scholarship assistance is available for those with financial need.

Bergen LEADS will help participants see the community – and themselves – through new eyes,” says Ms. Sharma. “The curriculum is interactive, fast-paced and experiential. Field trips and site visits built into each seminar day will bring Bergen County to life.”

Bergen LEADS has an active graduate organization – Alumni of Bergen LEADS (ABL) - to keep LEADS alumni engaged and active throughout their careers in Bergen County.

Additional information about the program is available at or by contacting Beanne DeGuzman at 201-489-9454 Ext. 112, or

Funding for Bergen LEADS is provided by participant tuition plus generous contributions from individuals and area corporations and foundations, including PNC Wealth Management, United Water, Lillian Pitkin Schenck Fund and Wells Fargo.

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