On Monday, May 22, youth from the communities of Visalia, Tulare and Porterville who were participants in the 2016-17 #LEAD program were recognized for successfully completing the school-year-long program.

Launched in the Fall of 2013, #LEAD (Leading, Educating, Advocating, and Dedication) is an innovative leadership and mentoring program.  The year long program inspires Junior and Senior high school students to make a difference in their communities, foster civic engagement, and eventually learn the skills to become a mentor/leader in their community and to other students.

Special features of the program include:
•    Identifying their passion and create their own career pathway
•    Financial literacy and learning how to manage life, work and school
•    Communications skills, professional and personal.

The #LEAD program is held in the evenings twice a month and runs September through June of each school year.  Upon successful completion of the program, each youth participant will have the opportunity to:
•    Apply for a job
•    Visit college campuses
•    Apply for scholarship

The #LEAD program is made possible through collaboration with the Tulare County Youth Commission, Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency, CSET, College of the Sequoias, Visalia Unified School District, Tulare Joint Union High School District, Tulare County Department of Probation, Pro-Youth HEART, Porterville College, Tulare County Board of Supervisors, and the Tulare County Step Up Advisory Committee.

Congratulations to all the graduates who have helped make the 2016-17 Step Up #LEAD program successful!