History of Junior Leadership
The Chamber’s Junior Leadership Spartanburg Program (JLS) was adopted for inclusion in the Chamber’s Program of Work in May, 1987 to give junior-level high school students in Spartanburg County the opportunity to have a learning experience outside of the classroom while learning valuable skills that will benefit their leadership endeavors. The program is endorsed and approved by private schools and all seven school districts. Attendance of JLS sessions falling within regular school hours will not count as a school absence nor prevent students from participating in extracurricular activities.
About Junior Leadership
JLS is a ten-month program in which area high school juniors are empowered to become trustees of the Spartanburg community. Throughout the ten months of the program students will learn a variety of valuable leadership skills including time management, community issue awareness, and business ethics. The program also provides training in the area of personal development, skills training, volunteering opportunities and team building. Another benefit of the program is the opportunity to gain new contacts through networking and relationship building.
During the 2013-2014 program, in addition to the monthly class sessions, JLS students will be assigned to a Community Service Project to increase awareness of the community and provide the opportunity to serve. These projects are submitted by various agencies, governmental entities and nonprofit organizations and require the participants to complete research, plan various events, participate in the community activities and create presentations. The students will work diligently to determine a course of action and follow through with success.
Local colleges, universities and businesses partner with the chamber to provide professional personnel, facilities and other aspects of the sessions throughout the school year. Marcia Murff with Spartanburg Parks Commission and a graduate of the Chamber’s Leadership Spartanburg program, assists in planning and coordinating the sessions with the support of Chamber staff. Program leadership and staff attend all activities, functions and meetings pertaining to the program.
School guidance counselors select the students who will represent their respective schools. 41 students participated in the 2011-2012 class; 43 students are scheduled to participate in the 2013-2014 class. Tuition for each student is $100, which assists with program, meal and transportation costs.
Donations from civic clubs, companies, foundations and individuals are welcomed to assist with covering the costs of the program, too. For more information, please contact Cindy Teaster at 864-594-5022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.