Leadership Fox Cities is a community-development program of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, but what does that mean? Sure, we introduce class participants to an area of the community that they may not be aware of or know little information about, but also, and one of the program’s main attractions, is its group projects which benefit the Fox Cities.
Group projects are an important element in the hands-on learning participants’ experience. Projects are designed to work closely with other leaders, to have participants become more ingrained in the community and get that “Behind-the-scenes” look at the Fox Cities.
The project groups are announced during the Leadership Fox Cities Retreat in the beginning of the program year. Each small group then has the responsibility of determining a community need, researching that need, implementing group process skills to see their project through, and presenting their project a their May Graduation with the expectations of how their project will impact the community as a whole.
Sometimes, though, a need is sometimes difficult to recognize. That’s why Leadership Fox Cities will ask for projects from area non-profits to provide as examples. These projects may not be chosen as a group project but they just may, at the same time.
Leadership Fox Cities projects do have a long lasting impact on the community. Just take a look at some of the successes of projects, like “Garden to Gourmet” project, which turned into an annual fundraising event for the Gardens of the Fox Cities or the “Reach Out & Read Program”, which was developed because that group saw a need for children to have the ability to read to help prepare them for school. Pediatrician clinics promote literacy at wellness checkups, giving a child a book and explaining to a child the benefits of reading. Donations are still being accepted through the St. Elizabeth’s Foundation to make awareness of this program.
So if you were to ask a Leadership Fox Cities graduate how is this program a community developed program, I am sure they could easily and gladly tell you how. After all, it’s all about community.