Posted by Chris Anderson on Oct 16, 2017
Pictured (l to r):  President Joelle Washer, Becky Robbins, Sarah Tranum, Beth Starks, and Kirk Young.
Becky Robbins introduced Dr. Kirk Young.  Dr. Young, a fellow Rotarian, is the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Institutional Advancement at Jamestown Community College.  Kirk was at Rotary to speak about the JCC Leadership Academy.   
Beth Starks, JCC Coordinator of Early Childhood Education and Sarah Tranum, JCC Academic Fieldwork Coordinator joined Kirk.  
The goal of the JCC Leadership Academy is to reach out to the community at large to begin a network of educational institutions and businesses to search and seek the untapped reservoir of human talent in this area.
Many high school teachers want to know if what they are teaching is relevant.  High schools and colleges give students a lot of hard skills, but there also needs to be a focus on soft skill development as well.  I.E. teamwork, working with people, directing others, leadership, empathy, etc.  Development of soft skills is paramount in today’s business climate.   There is a need for this in our community.  

JCC Leadership Academy – a model for community succession planning.
Four Pillars of JCC Leadership Academy
  1. Comprehensive Leadership Course (Theory)
  2. Lecture Series (Theory and Application)
  3. Mentoring Program (Application)
  4. Civic Engagement (Application)
Leadership Academy Tie-in with High Schools
  1. Work with high schools to enhance leadership development
  2. Offer College Connections courses
  3. Spring Leadership Conference
  4. Summer Leadership Retreat
Community Succession Planning Through
  1. Soft-skill / Success-skill development
  2. Early-on connections with the community
  3. Professional network development
  4. A transformational experience
Opportunities for involvement
  1. Mentoring
  2. Speaking (in class or as a highlighted speaker on campus)
  3. Oversight of civic engagement projects
Beth Starks, JCC Coordinator of Early Childhood Education, then spoke about the mentoring program.  This will give high school students an opportunity to be matched up one on one with a community member or through group mentoring.  Benefits for the Mentee are having a connection with the community and having the ability to see their future aspirations.  Benefits for the Mentor are being connected to another generation and getting a keen insight into the youth of today, as well as being able to give back to their community and really make a difference in a young person’s life.  
Sarah Tranum, JCC Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, also spoke about civic engagement.  The leadership academy can help students connect with the local community, so that is they ever move away from the area, they will have a connection if they ever decide to come back.  The leadership academy is also a way to commit to keeping students in the regional area after they graduate instead of moving away.  
The plan is to ingrain students into the community, so hopefully they will have an experience that will draw them back after college or will help them stay here.
All three speakers encourage Rotary members to become involved; to become a mentor; or assist with the Leadership Academy.  It’s a wonderful way to give back to the community.  
Interested, please let Kirk know what you would be interested in doing anything to help or assist with this initiative.