The Leadership Fayette Class for 2015 held its graduation ceremony Thursday evening at the school house on the Fayette County Fairgrounds.
Several local leaders, including Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth and county commissioners, attended the event to honor the several residents and business owners who were graduating. The primary goal for the class is one of noble intentions. By helping locals learn leadership skills, Godwin Apaliyah, Economic Development Director and Community Development Educator for Fayette County, said he hopes to promote the quality of life within the county.
“We begin the classes with a brief history of the county to allow the participants to understand where we come from,” Apaliyah said. “We continue in the class to provide the opportunity to let the participants know their personality type and how that reflects into their leadership skills. Throughout the course we cover a large variety of topics, including an explanation of the city, state, and federal government structures and leadership styles.”
Since 2004, OSU Extension in Fayette County has been organizing Leadership Fayette for community residents. Not only does it teach valuable lessons to future leaders, it is an opportunity to get to know other people and what they do in the community. Leadership development programs help to guarantee an adequate supply of effective leaders who are vital to the success of community development activity. These leaders will use their talents and abilities to inspire others and to foster a new spirit of energy, enthusiasm and vitality throughout the county.
“I really learned a lot about leadership, but also a lot about myself,” Angela Siler, fiscal officer with the Community Action Commission of Fayette County, said. “I had the chance to network with other community members and worked on a project of our own, Community Clean Stream. We asked volunteers to help clean the strip of Paint Creek in Eyman Park and were able to clear 17 bags of trash from the area. After going through the program, I would recommend it to anyone able to participate. We can all complain about the problem, but nothing can get done until you are willing to make the change. Overall, it was a great experience.”
This year, 10 participants signed up for Leadership Fayette and participated in 10 sessions – one session every month from April through November 2015 and several trips. The class touched on several topics, including a history of Fayette County, communication/public speaking and presentation skills, strength-finder leadership styles, group and team building and more.
The group also participated in seven tours to learn about the community’s assets and resources. They traveled to the Fayette County Museum, YUSA, Mars Pet Care, Riten Industries, WCR, County and City Infrastructure and the Women’s Wellness Center, a brand of the Fayette County Memorial Hospital.
“I think everything went very well this year,” Apaliyah said. “This program is for everyone, even a mother and daughter took the class together and both took some great things away. The participants learned a lot and we had a great time. We are looking forward to the next class in 2017.”
For more information or to join the next Leadership Fayette program, contact the Fayette County OSU Extension Office at (740) 335-1150.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy