Five MMI Preparatory School students completed several community service projects across Greater Hazleton as members of the 2018-19 Junior Leadership Hazleton class.
Juniors Carter Frask, Catherine Havrilla, Madyson Hornack, Josiah Pacchioli, and Benjamin Putnam joined other students from schools throughout Greater Hazleton to carry out the projects. The class members are assigned a team who then prepares a project. The project teaches students about delegation of power, how to work together to achieve a goal, and ways they can bring some joy to parts of the community.
This year, the Junior Leadership students hosted a Thanksgiving party for the children at Helping Hands, a Christmas party for Head Start students, and a Christmas party for the residents of Heritage Hill Senior Community.
Junior Leadership began in 1987 as an affiliate of the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce. The program is intended to acquaint juniors from the six area high schools with groups and organizations in the Greater Hazleton area. Students can apply in their sophomore year through their guidance counselor. The class is limited to 30 students who are selected through an application process and an interview.
There are seven sessions held monthly from August to February. The sessions included: team-building skills, a history of the Greater Hazleton area, a visit to a local industry, an introduction to community service with emphasis on the United Way, and a look at local government that includes interaction with elected officials.
Additionally, the students participated in a unique partnership with the United Way of Greater Hazleton. The students were entrusted with a grant from the American Eagle Outfitters Foundation and had to allocate funds to United Way agencies based on presentations made by those agencies. Students were also encouraged to get involved by volunteering with local non-profit organizations, as servant leadership as advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a tenant of Junior Leadership.
Junior Leadership is funded primarily by the CAN DO Community Foundation and sponsored by the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce.