Hampton Roads is losing its bright young professionals. We raise our children here and educate them here, but after college they are leaving for Austin, Texas, Charlotte, North Carolina and Washington, D.C. In fact, Forbes rates us in the bottom 10 of a listing of 40 cities attractive to young professionals.
eXcel, an annual youth leadership development and community education program for rising high school juniors and seniors, was created as a response to our region’s loss of gifted young professionals. Modeled after LEAD Hampton Roads, the widely known business leadership program of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, eXcel is designed to identify, educate and prepare the future leaders of the Hampton Roads region.
This year’s eXcel program takes place July 12-16, from 9:00am-5:00pm, at locations across Hampton Roads. Students selected for the program participate in an intensive curriculum which includes team-building exercises, conflict resolution models and dialogue with community leaders. Students go behind-the-scenes of local businesses, hospitals, non-profit organizations and local government. Leaders from around the region will participate in presentations and mentoring of participants. eXcel places students in a network of regional youth and adult leaders which will form a basis for their future success in the college and working world. Emphasis is placed on strengthening the ties of our youth to Hampton Roads.
Olivia Stansbury, of Poquoson, participated in eXcel last year and said, “The eXcel program opened my eyes to a side of Hampton Roads that I had never seen before. It gave me exposure into what it takes to be a leader in the community, in a region that is so large and diverse. The eXcel experience has helped me in leadership positions as I have finished my senior year in high school and I know that it will continue to help me as I go off to college and begin to work on solutions for the many challenges that confront our region, our state, our nation and our world.”
Dave Stansbury, Olivia’s father, said, “It was great to see my daughter's knowledge of the world around her expand as she completed the eXcel program. I am confident that the eXcel experience played a role in her rapid acceptance into the Leadership Program at Virginia Tech and that this experience will continue to serve her well as she progresses through life.”
eXcel is open to all qualified rising high school juniors and seniors. Deadline to apply is Friday, July 9. Participants are selected by an application process. The cost is $350 per person (includes materials, transportation, admission to various venues and lunches and snacks). Limited scholarships and payment plans are available. Contact Desiree Ellison at 757-664-2516 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information and an application.
LEAD Hampton Roads, a program of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, is a 501-C3 leadership development program now entering its 22nd year of serving the region. The organization has over 1,200 graduates who actively provide bold leadership to more than 800 regional businesses, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies. LEAD Hampton Roads serves the 17 communities that comprise the greater Hampton Roads area.