Fourteen students celebrated their graduation from Leadership Allegany on Friday, February 15, 2013, at Moonwink’s Restaurant in Cuba, N.Y.
Leadership Allegany, an intense 10-month program sponsored by Houghton College and the Greater Allegany Chamber of Commerce, hones leadership skills and provides students with an in-depth, insider’s view of Allegany County industries, including government, the judicial system, manufacturing, agriculture and more.
Pam Witter, chair of Leadership Allegany, described this year’s graduating class as purposeful. “Students came to the program with purpose and curiosity. And they came to serve. They went above and beyond expectations.” Witter was especially pleased with the community service projects organized by this year’s graduates and with the impact they had throughout the county.
Three Leadership Allegany students organized Celebrate Service, Celebrate Allegany, a community service day held last October that involved 450 college students serving at 65 locations throughout the county.
Another group of students planned Allegany Hope, an art competition featuring dozens of artworks by Allegany County elementary through senior high students with a display and art reception at the Fountain Bistro in Belmont. The final service project included a fundraising dinner and Chinese auction that raised $3,000 for Allegany Youth Court.
It’s this type of transformative leadership and service that Leadership Allegany seeks to inspire throughout the county. Leadership Allegany alumnus, Odeney Carty ’12, encouraged graduates to “continue along the path of service. If help is needed, lend a hand. Most of all, if your community calls, think about how you can strive to make the impossible a reality. Go forth and make a world of difference.”
Other speakers at the graduation ceremony included Curt Crandall, chair of the Allegany County Board of Legislators; Celeste Schoonover ’13, owner of Swain Ski Resort; Bill Heaney, representative for Senator Catharine Young; and Lee James, representative for Congressman Tom Reed.
Members of the 2013 Leadership Allegany graduating class include: Mitchell Alger, Linda Baker, Tracy Broshar, Gene Faulkner, Gretchen Hanchett, Heather Hill, Jonathan Hilsher, Jessica Jennings, Jennifer Joyce, Brandon Rush, Cindy Polanowski, Celeste Schoonover and Angela Tinder.
More information about Leadership Allegany can be found online at www.leadershipalleganyny.org.