JanetGuenHere are some things you should know…

By Janet Guen, Senior Director of Resource Development, United Way of the Greater Seacoast

Applying to Leadership Seacoast is a competitive process; there are more applicants each year than we can accept. Which begs the question: What’s required to become a member of the Leadership Seacoast class of 2015? Well, for starters – an application. And we encourage you to attend the Recruitment and Scholarship Breakfast on October 2nd as well, but that’s not required, just suggested. Beyond that, it’s not what you might think.

This isn’t a program that’s intended only for those already in leadership positions (although many are). Our communities are varied and change-agents come from every walk of life. Leadership Seacoast class members are no different. You can be in the twilight of your career (whether that career is one attached to a paycheck or as a volunteer), in the throes of building your skills and climbing the “ladder”, or you may just be getting started as a recent college graduate. We aren’t looking for candidates who can check off a defined set of boxes or accomplishments.

We are looking for candidates who recognize in themselves most or all of the attributes below:

  • You are curious about your community: How things work, how decisions get made, who makes them and how issues and communities are interconnected.
  • You are inspired to get involved or more involved in a cause or a community that matters to you.
  • You are intrigued by the opportunity for behind-the-scenes exploration of the places, programs, influencers, and experts who power the Seacoast community.
  • You are willing to leave preconceived notions behind, to challenge your assumptions and those of others.
  • You value the opportunity to build a network of colleagues who may not share your opinions but share your commitment to making a difference.

Once you’re part of the class, what does it take to be successful in the program?

  • Showing up. There are 9 program days and while we certainly understand that life happens, you can’t benefit from unique experiences if you aren’t there to experience them.
  • Participating. You don’t have to be a social extrovert to add and receive value from the program but you do have to be willing to engage – whether that’s by regularly sharing your opinion with your class, challenging a small group to think about an issue from a different angle or consistently completing the class preparation work and experiential homework to take full advantage of each day’s agenda.
  • Acting on what you learn. You may not know exactly how you want to get involved in your community yet or have fully identified those issues you are most passionate about. That’s OK. What we do ask is that you use this opportunity to fully explore your options and, at the program’s conclusion, commit to becoming personally involved in a community issue that’s important to you.

Want to learn more? Explore the website, read other blog posts, join us for breakfast at Seacoast Repertory Theater on October 2nd to hear alumni share their experiences, ask questions. And then complete your application!