MCLA L.E.A.D. Academy Program to Begin on August 7


NORTH ADAMS, MA - About 30 incoming freshmen will participate in the Leadership in Education, Action and Development (LEAD) Academy, Aug. 7 - Aug. 10, at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). 

The four-day, non-credit leadership and community service program is offered by the Center for Service and Citizenship to enhance the students' college experience.  

 Staffed by current MCLA student leaders, the program includes workshops and activities that focus on leadership, college success, team building and community service. Participating students check into residence halls early and familiarize themselves with campus and the Berkshire region as they jumpstart their MCLA careers and bond with fellow student leaders, faculty and staff. 

Spencer Moser, MCLA coordinator of the center for service and citizenship, said "L.E.A.D. Academy prepares freshmen to excel at MCLA, discover pathways to success in college, and distinguish themselves as leaders." 

Workshops and activities explore leadership, college success, personal and professional growth, teambuilding and civic engagement.   

"Those freshmen that have either been very involved in activities within their communities or high school and want to hit the ground running. We certainly want to cultivate both those students to come here, as well as to provide them with a tool kit so they can apply the talents that they bring with them to MCLA," Moser said. "It's also very much a program for those freshmen that have not yet taken a leadership role or have been active in civil society. In this program, they can gain some of those skills and insights." 

Moser said participating in the program was a great way for students to become familiar with the North Adams community.  

"There's a big emphasis placed on service and many students engage in service projects in town, learning all about the organizations that they serve," he said.  

This year the group will visit City Hall in North Adams on Monday morning, Aug. 9. While there, students will have the opportunity to talk with several civic leaders about city government and the role of city engagement. 

Danielle Gismondi '10 said, "Through L.E.A.D. Academy, I was introduced to 30 new people who were all interested in service, like I was.  They are now my close friends, and we will always have a bond. During L.E.A.D. Academy, through the various workshops, I learned how to balance my time, stay academically motivated, and learned where and when I could volunteer my extra time in North Adams. L.E.A.D. is a valuable asset to MCLA and has helped my transition here greatly." 

Incoming freshmen are referred to the program through the College's admission office and also when they attend a summer orientation on campus. To learn more about L.E.A.D. Academy contact The Center for Service at MCLA at 413-662-5251, e-mail or visit http:// community/centerforservice/leadacademy/