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Tuesday, November 22, 2005
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Program promotes leadership skills among Ross County youth

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (Jan. 29, 2007) -- The Leadership Skills Program continues to promote the importance of sound decision-making and other skills with prospective college students from throughout Ross County.

The program, which was begun in the winter of 2000, is a partnership between Ohio University Chillicothe and Ross County middle schools and high schools. The program involves two components, one for 14 seventh- and eight-grade students, and the other for 16 high school sophomores and juniors. Two students from each Ross County school participate in the program.

The students come to campus one Friday each month from February through May and explore the importance of leadership, character-building and responsible decision-making, in addition to other skills that will help them in college. 

"These are students who have been identified by their guidance counselors as outstanding students with much potential, and the program's goal is to help these young people develop as leaders and role models among their peers," Director of Continuing Education, Training and Development Jodie Van Winkle said. 

Educational Opportunity Center Coordinator La Tanya Webb and local facilitator Moe Pfeifer coordinate the program. Webb teaches sessions on test-taking, time-management, study and memory skills.

Pfeifer said, "I believe that leaders are developed and are not born.  Any time you are in a role in which you can influence someone, you become a leader, and my role is to help the students grasp their particular leadership styles. Everyone has a particular gift or talent, and I understand how to help them get to the next level."

"This program is intended to bring out the best in these bright young students, many of whom will be first-generation college students. This continues OU-C's community outreach by serving as a resource for the county. While some students may eventually enroll at the campus, it is our goal to introduce them to college life in general while helping them to develop important skills that will make an impact on their educational careers and serve them throughout their lives," Van Winkle said.

The first on-campus sessions are Friday, Feb. 16, for the middle-school students and Friday, Feb. 23, for the high school students.

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