Greater Chambersburg Chamber Foundation seeks to mold youth leaders

January 01, 2013
  • Members of the current Leadership Franklin County Youth class work out solutions to proposed problems.
Submitted photo

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The Greater Chambersburg Chamber Foundation is recruiting current ninth-grade students for Leadership Franklin County Youth classes that begin this fall. There is no cost for students to participate; the program is funded by various organizations and individuals who are committed to helping young people.

The program is focusing on promising high school students who might not currently be serving in leadership-oriented roles. The foundation will select 24 students, approximately four from each school district in Franklin County, who will be high school sophomores in the 2013-14 school year. Students may come from public, private and home-based schools in the county. Students will meet for an orientation May 14, a one-day retreat at Manito Centers for Innovative Learning; on July 12; and at the Serafini Softball Tournament on Aug. 17. Students are required to attend all sessions.

The program starts in September, meeting once a month from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the school day.


Students will be bused to and from their home schools to Manito Centers for Innovative Learning, and there will be tours and other learning opportunities in the community. Tours include the Franklin County Courthouse and Franklin County Jail, as well as nonprofits and industries. The transportation schedule will be sent by e-mail to students before each session.

In addition to tours and classwork, students will participate in panel discussions with community leaders.

The curriculum includes team-building exercises, and sessions on leadership, ethics and personal accountability, community service, diversity, behavior, career exploration and more. Students will work in teams to complete community service projects. Those who complete their assignments and course work will graduate from the program on May 3, 2014.

The program has been endorsed by all six school districts in Franklin County and all five Chambers of Commerce.

“Our goal is to help students increase awareness of their strengths, talents and differences — and to make them more aware of their impact on others,” said Noel Purdy, executive director of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber Foundation, the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce affiliate that operates the program.

“Ultimately, we’d like to help create a community of young people who are actively engaged in responsible, ethical and effective leadership,” she said. “We want to provide the tools to help them emerge as leaders in their personal lives, schools and communities.”

Businesses, mentors, community organizations, parents, teachers and counselors are encouraged to refer youth who can benefit from the program. The application deadline is Feb. 25. Students must complete an application, obtain two referrals and have parental and school administrator approval. Applications are available at (click on Leadership Franklin County and follow the instructions). E-mail Purdy at with questions.

Sponsors help to change lives

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The Greater Chambersburg Chamber Foundation, an affiliate of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, is seeking financial support of the Leadership Franklin County Youth program. Students from throughout the county are able to participate in the program at no cost because of sponsorship support.

Sponsors include the Serafini Community Fund, Waynesboro Area Business, Education and Community Foundation, Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation, Orrstown Bank, First National Bank of Mercersburg and The Rotary Club of Mercersburg.

To become a sponsor or to receive more information, contact Noel Purdy at 717-264-7101, ext. 207, or e-mail her at

The Herald-Mail Articles