“We ask people to nominate somebody they think will be a great community leader,” said Ron Jones, who was instrumental in developing the leadership program in the city.
Those who are interested in the program can also nominate themselves, he said. One of the main requirements is that participants are available to attend each monthly session.
For nine months, class members will gather to learn about a variety of topics including government, business and education.
“There’s city day — that’s where you get to meet the mayor, the city council [and] the people that work down in the [city departments],” Jones said. “There’s government day. We go downtown and meet at the Capitol. We’ll visit with the lieutenant government, the secretary of state, our house representative [and] our senate representative.”
He said participants learn leadership skills that last forever while developing strong friendships along the way. They are also encouraged to make a difference by mentoring the next leadership class the following year.
Another way Leadership Johns Creek participants are impactful is through their community service projects. Each class splits into groups and dedicates themselves to a sustainable project that makes a positive difference in Johns Creek.
The Class of 2013, which celebrated their graduation last month, helped jumpstart two major projects in the city — the Johns Creek Veterans Memorial Walk at Newtown Park and the city’s Public Art Master Plan. Jones said this year’s class also helped bring new furniture and a storage shed to Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center and built two outdoor collection bins for a local charity.
In similar fashion, the high school version of the organization also works to accomplish service projects, he said. Student Leadership Johns Creek will host the retreat for its second class of participants next month.
“The idea is that as these students grow up and go to college, if they come back to Johns Creek, they will know how to plug into the community very quickly,” Jones said. “It’s a fully rounded program to hopefully attract students back to the area, because these are such high achieving students out here.”
For more information about Leadership Johns Creek or to submit a nomination for the Class of 2014, visit www.leadershipjohnscreek.com.