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Leadership Niagara announces expanded program

by jmaloni

Press release

Fri, May 3rd 2013 01:30 pm

Will inspire 400 teens to take the lead in the Niagara region

Leadership Niagara has announced it will expand its LYNC youth leadership development program to engage 400 students over the next five years thanks to an unprecedented $375,000 grant from the Irene E. Witkowski-Agrawal Foundation. The LYNC program, now in its 14th year, develops students' skills, attitudes, and outlook about leadership and what it takes to become a leader.

Eighty students will be selected from high schools across Niagara County and Grand Island High School to participate in the eight-month program, which begins this fall. The program is seeking applicants who are respectful, demonstrate positive attitudes and, if given the opportunity to develop their leadership competencies, will flourish.

"Our purpose is to create effective leaders who will be prepared to take the lead in our schools, communities and around the world," said Molly Anderson, executive director of Leadership Niagara. "Our LYNC students will have the opportunity to think, write, speak, work together and act as leaders in a safe, supportive and fun environment."

Twelve high schools were contacted by Leadership Niagara Thursday to introduce the new LYNC application process and to notify the schools that the program tuition will be funded through a five-year commitment by the Irene E. Witkowski-Agrawal Foundation.

"We are incredibly grateful to the Irene E. Witkowski-Agrawal Foundation for their commitment to LYNC, especially in lieu of the budget crises being faced by many school districts," said Frank P. Mergl, chair of the board of directors of Leadership Niagara. "This partnership with the Irene E. Witkowski-Agrawal Foundation lays the groundwork for our LYNC program that will allow more young people than ever before to develop their leadership skills."

"The foundation is about encouraging and teaching young people to depend on themselves, and to succeed in their lives by being honest," said Prabhakar Agrawal, founder of the Irene E. Witkowski-Agrawal Foundation. "If they can achieve that, they are likely to find much happiness in their lives and contribute to society much more than the present trend of fraud, deceit and deceptions that are so prevalent worldwide. That is how my deceased wife would have done it. So my foundation is to remember her for her honesty and values."

The 2014 application may be found on the Leadership Niagara website at http://leadershipniagara.com/programs/lync/. The deadline for applications is June 1.

Leadership Niagara, now in its 29th year, is the longest running community leadership program in New York state. It provides practical and in-depth graduate-level leadership development, coaching and mentoring, and discussions on regional issues and industries. The organization's mission is to strengthen regional leadership. More than 1,000 youth and adults have graduated from Leadership Niagara since 1984.

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