Overview: The Berkshire Youth Leadership Program (BYLP) was developed by the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce to provide high school students with the opportunity to gain knowledge and insight that will help them make meaningful decisions regarding their future. The program is designed to develop young individuals to be the next generation of community leaders, prepare them for constructive and responsible involvement in community affairs and encourage them to think seriously about career pathways in Berkshire County. Throughout the ten-month program, students explore the functional areas of business and the career pathways found in the Berkshires. 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. During this retreat, 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 sessions throughout the county focused on specific industries that have a presence in the Berkshires.
For more information:
View the BYLP's Group Video Project