FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Bergen LEADS?
Bergen LEADS is a year-long learning and leadership experience for adults who live or work in Bergen County.
Why Bergen LEADS?
In virtually every sector of the economy – business, non-profit, government, education or religious – there is one common worry: Where is the next generation of leaders coming from? Bergen LEADS was developed to help people with some leadership experience – through their job or through community involvement – learn about the complex community that is Bergen County. Bergen LEADS will also help them learn about their own leadership style and develop an expanded capacity for leadership. Bergen LEADS will help graduates of the program learn to apply their new-found knowledge to their employment and to future community involvement with the ultimate goal of making Bergen County a better place in which to live and work.
When does Bergen LEADS take place?
Bergen LEADS begins with a mandatory two-day retreat in September, followed by
monthly, day-long seminars through April and a day-and-a-half long closing retreat in May. The year concludes with a Public Forum and graduation ceremony in June.
Who can participate?
The program is open to any adult who lives or works in Bergen County and has exhibited leadership potential through community activities or in their profession, and who has an interest in strengthening Bergen County. Each class consists of 30 participants from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.
What do you learn?
The opening retreat introduces participants to Bergen County – demographics, civic involvement, history, immigration, home rule, uneven socio-economic base – and provides participants with insight into their personal leadership style and strengths. Throughout the seminar year, each of six “Issue Days” introduces a different topic – government, healthcare, education, public safety, arts and culture and the environment – and two “Reflection Days” encourage thoughtful application of what’s been learned. Participants will also delve more into their own leadership style and learn to maximize their strengths to become effective leaders. In addition, participants will engage in a class project that provides an opportunity to develop solutions to real issues in the community. Finally, class members will receive guidance in using their Bergen LEADS experience to make Bergen County a better place in which to live and work.
The experiential, highly interactive curriculum is overseen by a team of community leaders, with the input and direction of William “Pat” Schuber, former Bergen County Executive and professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Lynne H. Algrant, non-profit and leadership consultant, is responsible for the leadership and trusteeship portions of the program.
Who sponsors Bergen LEADS?
Bergen LEADS is sponsored by Bergen Volunteer Center, a private 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
Is there a cost to participate?
Tuition for Bergen LEADS is $2000 per person, which covers all expenses
including meals and class materials. Each participant is expected to pay $300 personally, with the remainder coming from his/her employer, sponsoring organization or the participant. Limited financial assistance is available based on need.
Beanne DeGuzman, Program Manager
Volunteer Center of Bergen County
64 Passaic Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Phone: 201-489-9454, ext. 112