Leadership Fayette County is designed for selected high school juniors across Fayette County to promote essential leadership qualities in the students while providing first hand experiences in the business, government, and tourism sectors of Fayette County, West Virginia; providing youth with the information and tools needed to enable them to make the choice to return to Fayette County to Live, Learn, Work and Play upon completion of their higher education.
Each year since 2001, students are selected by application and interview to participate in the eleven session program throughout the school year. In 2011 the program expanded to offer select sessions to all students who completed the application and interview process. A few of the skills the sessions are designed to build on are: public speaking, understanding personal strengths, team building, and preparation for college.
Those who successfully complete the curriculum are awarded a $1000 scholarship to the college of their choice. Scholarships are awarded at an annual graduation banquet feting the students and their parents. Congressman Nick J. Rahall, II; then-Governor Bob Wise; Goldman Environmental Award recipient Julia Bonds; Leadership West Virginia Executive Director Paul Mayer; Benedum Foundation grants specialist Mary-Hunt Lieving; and musician Willie John Ellison (“Some Kind of Wonderful”) are among past graduation banquet speakers.
In 2013 Leadership Fayette County earned recognition from the Harvard Kennedy School and the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation as a “Bright Idea” and exemplary community development program. The Capstone Program at West Virginia University studied the program and attributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in local economic growth to Leadership Fayette County and its umbrella organization the Fayette County Education Fund.
Leadership Fayette County is jointly developed and delivered by the Fayette County Education Fund, Inc., Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, and the Fayette County Board of Education. Modeled after the highly acclaimed Leadership West Virginia developed by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the State of West Virginia.
Program Co-chairs: Dave Pollard, Rachel Davis