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Ripon chamber plans youth leader series
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The Ripon Chamber of Commerce is rolling out a Youth Leadership Program.

The program designed for junior and senior high school students is being launched in the fall of 2016.

The proposal already has the support of Ripon Unified School District Superintendent Ziggy Robeson and Mayor Leo Zuber among others. They are part of an oversight committee that will begin meetings in January.  Ripon Christian High School is also being invited to take part in the program as is the local California Connections Academy.

The program will be limited to some 25 students. It will run for about five hours on one school day each month for eight months

The goals include identifying students who are leaders or have demonstrated leadership potential giving young people the knowledge, tools and contacts that will create successful leaders, to instill and nurture a sense of social responsibility, offer a forum for young leaders to express their needs, goals and opinions. It will also explore the diverse facets of Ripon’s social affairs, government and business, as well as provide participants a chance to serve their community presenting young leaders with a renewing and fun learning experience.

The tentative schedule begins next October with the students first exposed to the Health Care field with a daylong visit to a hospital or other health care facility.  November is set to be Media Day with a list of possibilities to be considered for the students.  In December they will be immersed in Public Safety in a nearby law enforcement authority.  Non-profit and Human Resources is the focus for January and February will send the students out into the field learning firsthand about Agriculture and the Environment. 

It’s Government Day in March with the students possibly heading for the state capitol to become involved with a state senator and assemblyman for the day.  April is about Education where the young leaders may be visiting a college in the region and for May it will be Manufacturing. 

Their graduation is slated for June — “a time to celebrate their accomplishments sharing them with their family and friends.”

There will be an application process for those students eager to learn more about leadership and be a part of the group as they are immersed in a variety of possibilities for their futures in Ripon and beyond.

The Ripon chamber president said she has the support of the chamber of commerce board of directors and has formed a committee to oversee the leadership project.  In addition to Mayor Zuber, the committee members include Faye Gibbs and Jennifer Brennan.  Gibbs was a recent member of a San Joaquin County Grand Jury.

The student applications require a recommendation from a business man or woman and from a peer of the students. 

Students will be required to wear business attire to each of the activities unless informed otherwise — out of respect for the professional establishments the youth will be visiting.  Those participating are also going to be required to commit to attend each and every session.

Spade has a history with leadership programs, having chaired the Turlock Leadership Program as its chair for Government Day where she mentored some 20 to 25 students.

To contact Glenn Kahl email