The Goals are to:
1. Identify and nurture young adults as potential community leaders.
2. Invoke a sense of civic responsibility in young adults through community exploration and mentoring.
3. Acquaint participants with regional and local resources, challenges and opportunities.
4. Learn about leadership in the community through mentoring exposure to community leaders, and visiting community organizations.
5. Develop a knowledge of career opportunities available in the community.
6. Develop the talents and skills of young adults as community leaders.
7. Have community leaders mentor young adults on career, education, and life planning issues.
The Leadership Connection has been provided by the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce for about seven years. Initially, the program was geared solely towards business professionals, giving them unique opportunities to network and improve on leadership skills. In 2008, Career Institute proposed that the program be used to invest in the future leaders of the community. The revised layout of the program began in 2009, when seven youth and ten business professionals attended a kickoff event at RW Ranch in Lucerne Valley, CA for an overnight stay. There they participated in breakout sessions, and listened to a lecture series delivered on Temperament Theory and self-realization in the context of leadership. Following the weekend event, participants and their assigned mentors met at key businesses and community locations for six weeks thereafter. The program culminated with an awards ceremony where each program participant delivered a speech and were given awards during Apple Valley’s Annual Chairman’s Award Dinner.