Partnership News and Views

Join the Lake Superior Leadership Academy

Amy Clickner, CEO, Lake Superior Community Partnership

In this day and age, it’s vital for communities to have involvement from leaders and individuals to ensure a successful, thriving and enjoyable place to work and live. Communities need leaders with a vision to see the potential in areas for growth and improvement, as well as efficient strategies to make those visions a reality. Whether it’s bettering school programs, participating in fundraisers or just being a voice for someone, community involvement is necessary from all corners to reach its greatest potential.

A local program that strives to uphold this philosophy is the Lake Superior Leadership Academy, or LSLA. The mission of the LSLA is to bring together new, emerging and potential leaders from the Marquette County area to address pertinent community needs, strengthen individual leadership abilities and encourage participants to personally commit to assuming leadership roles in the community. Since it began in 1999, the LSLA has graduated 400 community leaders. Graduates have moved into leadership positions in various community organizations, school boards, local government and event committees throughout Marquette County.

Academy students take a nine month interactive journey throughout Marquette County, viewing the inner workings of our community and gaining a deeper understanding of how each piece fits together with the others. This incredible experience kicks off with a daylong retreat, where students get to know each other and participate in a simulated society exercise. The following months include in-depth, daylong sessions that focus on our regional economy, justice system, education, government, media, health & human services, public infrastructure and community development.

But don’t take my word for it, here is what some of the most recent graduates are saying about the program:

¯ “I grew up in Marquette, but learned so many new things about our community through LSLA. I could not recommend this program enough for everyone in our community. You’ll find out what and where things are, how they work, and ways to get more involved in our community. You’ll meet great people and have fun each LSLA day!”

— Christie White, Class of 2018, VAST

¯ “This academy gives up-and-coming leaders an opportunity to expand their networks and get an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run a community.”

–Victor Harrington, Class of 2018, UP Health System-Marquette

¯ “The leadership academy has exceeded my expectations and really helped me learn more about our community. I feel that I have become an ambassador and am going out spreading the news about how incredible our community truly is.”

— Rachel Harris, Class of 2018, NMU

Each year the Academy actively solicits applicants from all sectors of the community. Criteria for selection include demonstrated leadership skills, active involvement in the community and a commitment to invest the time required by the program. It is important that a cross-section of the community be represented in the class. This guarantees an array of diverse perspectives that will generate meaningful personal interaction and learning throughout the program year.

We have begun accepting applications for the Class of 2019, which will begin in September of this year. Applications may be initiated individually or by nomination. Participants will be chosen from the online applications found at bit.ly/LSCP2019. Nominees will require the full support of the organization or business which they represent as attendance and participation in each session is essential. LSLA generally meets 8 a.m. – 5 p. m. on the first Thursday of each month from September through May with a graduation ceremony being held in May.

Tuition for the LSLA may be paid by the sponsoring organization or corporation. The cost is $1,250 for LSCP partners and $1,450 for non-partners. A limited number of partial scholarships will be granted to individuals who might otherwise be unable to attend. The scholarship amount has been increased to $750 for non-profits and $500 for for-profit organizations. The deadline to apply is Aug. 3.

For more information or to obtain an application, contact the Lake Superior Community Partnership at ashley@marquette.org or 906-226-6591. You can also find more information by visiting our website at www.marquette.org under ‘Participate.’

Editor’s NOTE: Amy Clickner is CEO of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.