The event is over, but the experience was worth it.
On Thursday, Jamestown Business College concluded its 2012 Leadership Launch event with an award ceremony at the Robert H. Jackson Center. The event, which kicked off Oct. 11, offered professional development training to 30 students from schools throughout Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Warren counties. Friends, family and other guests were invited to come and witness closing remarks and the presentation of awards to the students.
The ceremony commenced with Gretchen Lindell, dean of JBC, reading a message to the students from David Conklin, JBC president. Jessica Golley, director of marketing and communications, followed with a look back at how the Leadership Launch event was created and the success that JBC and high school students have experience because of it.
Participants of Jamestown Business College’s 2012 Leadership Launch event pose after receiving their awards of completion.
"Because of the success that our own students at JBC have experienced through our leadership training, we decided to extend it to area high school students," said Golley. "And with the assistance of a focus group made up of local business and educational leaders, we created Leadership Launch and welcomed our first group last year. Our 2012 group includes nearly triple the number of students so we're definitely pleased with this growth and glad to have all of you here."
Also addressing the students was Elisabeth Rankin, a member of that focus group and a representative of the office of state Assemblyman Andy Goodell.
Following Ms. Rankin was a presentation by high school seniors Jefferson Dedrick of Allegany-Limestone and Nolan Wells of Jamestown. In the spirit of the upcoming elections, Jefferson and Nolan shared their thoughts on the program and delivered thanks to parents and JBC in the form of a town hall debate, responding to fellow students' questions regarding their Leadership Launch experience and what they are taking away from the program.
Concluding the ceremony was Lindell with the presentation of awards to students, who gathered for a final picture together.
"It was definitely an honor (to be selected for this program)," said Jefferson. "The other individuals here with me are some really phenomenal people and I really enjoyed my time with them. The best part of this program was the people in it and what we learned from each other."
"(Jefferson) has a real interest in leadership in his own school," said Jefferson's father, John Dedrick. "Sometimes in a small school there aren't many people who have the same interests whereas a lot of these guys did. The books he read along with the articles and discussions that JBC put out for him were really nice."
"He has a very full plate but it was definitely worth his time," said Tara Dedrick, Jefferson's mother.
"I think the program went very well," said Lindell. "We had about three times the amount of participants as we did last year and that has several benefits. The students were able to come out of their shells faster and learn more from a larger group of people. And to be able to exhibit things like networking, thoughtfulness, planning and improvisation is the sign of a true leader. I wish all of our participants luck in their future endeavors."