After its creation in the late 1990s, the leadership program connected with businesses within the community. Currently, there are eight businesses that participate in helping the students gain a better knowledge of community involvement.
"We want to help the community grow and foster involvement as we grow our leaders so that they can be responsive within whatever community they move on to," said Leslie McMillan, community partners director. "Events like this can help them with their careers when deciding which direction to take after graduation."
For the Wellness day event, Ginger Tyra, marketing and public relations director for the hospital, stated that Bartow EMS was involved as well to speak to the group as they gave a tour of the ambulance. "This is a good way for us to give key messages to the students," said Tyra. "In the ER we discussed things that we see such as teen pregnancy."
To be involved in the program rising sophomores and juniors must submit applications to the Chamber. Applications can be retrieved from the guidance counselors at each school and students are chosen based on GPA, extracurricular activities and community involvement. Groups are selected at the end of each school year and begin activities at the start of the next school year in August.