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May 23rd, 2012

This Week in Orange County 5-23-12

Orange County Executive Edward Diana
Goshen - Recently I had the opportunity to speak with a sharp group of 31 eighth grade students from Orange County who have been recognized for their leadership potential. The students, representatives from 16 Orange County school districts, made up the inaugural class of the Junior Leadership Orange program, a collaboration between the Orange County Youth Bureau and Leadership Orange.

Following a similar format to the one used successfully by Leadership Orange over its more than 20 years of developing adult leaders in our County, Junior Leadership Orange students had the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of aspects of life in Orange County. Over the course of the school year, the students visited locations throughout the County to be immersed in topics including education, communications, government, the legal system, quality of life, and leadership development. While at these locations, the students met with leading professionals in their fields who provided the students with a first-hand look at their area of expertise and encouraged them to develop their leadership potential.

The development of Junior Leadership Orange has had a county-wide impact and was recognized by America’s Promise Alliance as a contributing factor in the County’s Youth Bureau successfully earning a spot for Orange County on the Alliance’s list of 100 Best Communities for Young People for the second year in a row. America’s Promise has recognized Orange County for its strong ability to develop partnerships and create collaborations that allow us to do more for the young people in our community.

One of the great things about the Junior Leadership Orange program is that it was provided at no cost to the participating students and their families or their school districts. It was developed, funded, and launched as a class project by the 2011 Leadership Orange class. The successful implementation of Junior Leadership Orange throughout this past year was coordinated by a committee of class members and others who stayed involved to manage it throughout the school year. The program concluded this month with a graduation ceremony at Brookside Manor.

Best of all, the Junior Leadership Orange program will be continuing next year for another class of 8th grade students. To learn more, visit the Orange County Youth Bureau website at If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about sponsoring Junior Leadership Orange, contact their office at 457-1550.

Congratulations and good luck to the 2012 inaugural class of Junior Leadership Orange. Keep up the good work!

Until next week, I wish you good health and happiness.

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