Looking Behind the Scenes at Leadership Pasco
Front row seats are very nice, but if you can go “backstage”, so to speak, it’s a whole different perspective. And so it is with Leadership Pasco.
In 1991, Leadership Pasco, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, began its mission: “to identify and recruit current or potential leaders of Pasco County”. During a 10-month course, participants get an up-close-and personal look at Pasco County behind the scenes.
The Class of 2022 is recruiting applicants who are or plan to become leaders in Pasco County. Those who have a “desire to enhance their strategic and creative thinking” for the purpose of positioning themselves and their companies for great success are encouraged to apply.
Class sizes vary from year to year, but the Class of 2022 will be 24. The goal in selecting participants is diversity, with representation from a variety of Pasco County businesses and organizations, including non-profits.
Deadline for applications is May 15, 2021. Those selected will be notified by the end of July, and a mandatory orientation will be held in August. Graduation day will be in May 2022. The Leadership Pasco staff will continue to stay in touch with those who are not selected for possible consideration to apply for the next class.
Leadership Pasco class orientation is a two-day bus tour: East and Central Pasco on day 1 and West Pasco on day 2. As Leadership Pasco Executive Coordinator Jason Longo says, “they are ‘dynamic days’, which will introduce the class to parts of the county that will be significant during the upcoming 10 months.”
Leadership Pasco is Recruiting for Class of 2022
Classes are held the third Thursday of each month from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and include speakers, conversations, and tours. Areas studied include criminal justice, healthcare, education, government, infrastructure, tourism, and business industries.
A new feature for the Class of 2022 will be Tourism Day in February. This tour will feature and promote Pasco’s Sports Coast. Visits will include AdventHealth Ice Arena in Wesley Chapel, the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis & Wellness Center in Zephyrhills, and the AdventHealth Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus.
Class members will work together to develop projects to bring several facets of the community together, identifying and providing an impact on the needs of Pasco County, whether social, educational, economic, environmental, or cultural.
Leadership Pasco has helped the County with Previous Projects
Previous projects include the Class of 2005 building a playground in Dade City’s Tommy Town. The Class of 2006 raised $20,000 to help develop a Command Center at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for Missing and Abducted Children. In 2011, the participants built another Sheriff’s Office project: a canine kennel.
The list of projects is diverse, and always requires “sweat equity”. A very important result of the projects is that many of them become on-going, sometimes taken over by the recipients and/or with help from the Leadership Class that developed them.
An intensive, in-depth project that each class undertakes is known as SIMSOC, a two-day role play session that simulates the different aspects of society.
Jason Longo knows that one question will be part of the Class of 2022 early on: “How did you, your company or organization, and family overcome the effects of COVID?”
Leadership Pasco is a great networking opportunity for current participants and alumni who want to keep in touch. Their alumni organization helps graduates maintain relationships that were developed in their classes, keep current on community and county issues, and “assist in designing future leadership programs.”
Leadership Pasco 2022 Tuition
If you are chosen to be a participant, there is a tuition fee of $1,000, due in full by August 1, 2021. The fee covers course materials, SIMSOC book, meals, and the cost of some transportation, facilities, and speakers needed for the seminars. Tuition may be tax-deductible as a business expense for some. Check with your tax professional.
Partial Scholarships may be Available
If the organization that sponsors you is a non-profit, you may qualify for a partial scholarship, so make sure you note that on your application.
Make the Commitment
If you have a passion for your community, if you want to make it even better, if you want the “experience of a lifetime”, you can learn more about Leadership Pasco on the website: www.leadershippasco.com. You can even apply online! But remember, the deadline is May 15, 2021. Don’t put it off!
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