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Leadership Niagara: Grant will grow leadership development program to historic levels

by jmaloni

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Mon, Apr 7th 2014 05:10 pm

LYNC, the youth leadership program run by Leadership Niagara, will be able to include up to 100 area high school students thanks to a new commitment of $460,000 from the Irene E. Witkowski-Agrawal Foundation.

Foundation founder Prabhakar Agrawl made the expansion of the original commitment of $375,000 announced in 2013. The husband of the deceased Irene E. Witkowski-Agrawal, he has a desire to include more students in the leadership development program. This new amount will allow the program to reach students from 13 schools in Niagara County, as well as students from Grand Island High School. The grant will stretch over the next four years for a total funding commitment of $535,000.

Agrawal said the foundation supports the LYNC program because, "it is important to encourage and teach young people to depend on themselves, and to succeed in their lives by being honest. That is how my deceased wife would have done it. So my foundation is to remember her honesty and values."

Molly Anderson, executive director of Leadership Niagara, said, "We are incredibly grateful to the Agrawal Foundation for their ongoing support and their confidence in what we are doing at LYNC and Leadership Niagara. Being able to influence our region's young people and give them the tools to be successful in life is incredibly rewarding and we are thankful to Mr. Agrawal for believing in what we do."

On Tuesday, the 15th graduating class of LYNC will graduate 78 students from 12 schools. This is the first class funded through the foundation. The class that begins in September will include up to 100 students.

Announcement of this increased commitment comes on the 30th anniversary of Leadership Niagara, the state's oldest leadership development program, which has graduated more than 1,200 local leaders between the adult and youth programs it oversees.

LYNC, an eight-month program for high school students, provides leadership development and mentoring, as well as training in self-awareness; problem-solving and project management; communication; and leading with purpose and core values. It is designed to prepare students to contribute to society and the world.

Visit www.leadershipniagara.org too apply for LYNC or Leadership Niagara.

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