Overview: The Berkshire Youth Leadership Program (BYLP) was developed by the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce to provide high school juniors with the opportunity to learn about career opportunities and develop leadership skills. The program is designed to develop young individuals to be the next generation of community leaders, prepare them for involvement in community affairs and encourage them to think seriously about career pathways in Berkshire County. Throughout the ten-month program, students learn about a variety of industries and work together on a group community service project. They share ideas and learn what it takes to become a consensus builder and effective decision-maker. Twenty-eight students are enrolled in the 2013-14 BYLP class.
Partners: BYLP is sponsored by Berkshire Bank and Greylock Federal Credit Union. In addition to the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, partners include The Berkshire Compact for Education, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), Berkshire Community College (BCC), the county's high schools and many local employers. BYLP is one of the milestones on the Berkshire Compact for Education's Higher Education Passport. These milestones comprise a path of educational opportunities leading to higher education.
Program Structure and Calendar: BYLP begins in August with a weekend retreat held at MCLA. Professional facilitators work with the students to build a sense of community, set personal goals and explore their leadership styles. During the school year, participants attend monthly half-day sessions held at the workplace of local employers.
For more information:
View the BYLP's Group Video Project