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The search is on for a new group of leaders

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By The Staff

Two community programs are searching for the next pool of leaders for the community of Los Alamos.

Leadership Los Alamos and the Los Alamos Youth Leadership programs are finalizing the application process for both programs.

Friday is the final day to submit applications for the 2010/2011 class of Leadership Los Alamos. This class is for community adults looking to expand their horizons about the community or increase their leadership skills.The program is beneficial to anyone already in a leadership position or hoping to broaden the expertise of their staff members.

The adult leadership program consists of a one-and-a-half day orientation led by Phil Bryson of On the Edge productions, that allows students to meet each other while acquiring some new skills, which also benefit adult students for life. The orientation is followed by monthly meetings based on a variety of topics from culture and economy to education and youth. The program is easy to get involved in and can be beneficial in a variety of ways. John Hofmann, of State Farm Insurance leads the program as the chair this year and is happy to answer any questions for prospective students.

Leadership Los Alamos is also sponsored in part from Los Alamos County and Los Alamos National Bank, that also aids the youth version of the program.

The younger version of the program began in 2005 with the efforts of Municipal Judge Alan Kirk and County Councilor Sharon Stover. Los Alamos Youth Leadership is currently accepting applications for students in ninth through 12th grades and has the same deadline of July 30.

The program, funded by the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and run by the Y of Los Alamos takes students on a nine-month program consisting of leadership skills and community service.

The youth are divided into three separate teams staffed by alumni of the Leadership Los Alamos program and experience similar activities and skill building with their peers.

The team building allows incoming freshmen a chance to encounter schoolmates on a new playing field as they begin their high school career.

Chris Armstrong, a 2010 graduate who was involved in the program for two years found it to be very rewarding, “There are a lot of benefits from LAYL. It’s also a lot of fun. It is mostly student-run when it comes to planning activities,” Armstrong said.

The students are led through lifetime skill-building activities by Sean Hall of TruEdge Productions, the youth counterpart to the LLA program.

Janali Gustafson spent her first year in the LAYL program, following in the footsteps of older brother Nat. She also found a variety of aspects about the program valuable.

“It feels really good to help the community, and you learn a lot about yourself. The people in LAYL are all really nice and accepting,” Gustafson said.

Additional information about either program is available by calling 672-4089 or by visiting the following Web sites: www.leadershiplosalamos.com, www.laymca.org or www.losalamosjjab.com.