CONNECTING MANATEE COUNTY'S FUTURE LEADERS TO COMMUNITY OPPORTUNITIES!
JLM is a program for high-school juniors interested in developing their leadership skills by enhancing their knowledge of community resources, current issues and other factors influencing the direction of our county's future. A series of six themed sessions exposes students to business and government resources and provides an opportunity to meet community leaders to discuss current issues.
Get a firsthand look at business, government and the media from "behind the scenes," connect with community leaders and share your concerns and ideas, explore career and employment opportunities and add something different on your college application.
We're glad you asked!
The application window normally opens each year in February and closes in April. The program is open to any student who goes to school in or lives in Manatee County who will be a junior the following school year and maintains a minimum 2.5 unweighted GPA .
Dear future students of Junior Leadership Manatee,
You may be wondering what this program is all about. What are a bunch of high school kids from around my county doing touring dairy farms, television studios, and hospital rooms? What do these “program days” actually look like? What can I gain and who will I meet if I join?
Well, I’m here to help! I’m Annie Class and I graduated from Junior Leadership Manatee just a few months ago and now serve as a student board member for the 2021 graduating class, and I’m about to guide you through one of these so-called “program days.” Strap in!
Beep! Beep! Beep!
My alarm clock goes off. I stretch my arms toward the ceiling, thinking through the day’s itinerary. It’s Agriculture and Land Day! I walk toward my closet to find a comfy pair of jeans and my official JLM shirt. I grab my phone and a bottle of water–the only two things I need for the day. I drive to our meeting spot to find forty other kids wearing the same red shirt with smiling faces of pure excitement. The adults provide donuts and we begin our day, on a charter bus, heading towards our first destination.
At this point, most of the students may not know exactly what the day has in store for them or even where the bus is going to arrive first. All us donut-loaded students know is that wherever we are going, it’s going to be fun.
We pull into a grassy, muddy farm with...cows. What is happening? How did I end up here on my Monday morning? Do you think they have good chocolate milk in the store? By the end of this first excursion, we would have all these questions answered. We were at Dakin Dairy, one of the premiere dairy farms in the area, and we were about to ride around on hay barrels in a classic farm tour, followed by a Dakin breakfast with the best glass of chocolate milk I have ever had and a meet and greet with the head of the entire farm.
That was just one of the four entertaining stops that day. And, yes, if you’re wondering, snacks were constantly provided and we did indeed have Chick-fil-a for lunch in between stops.
During my time with the program, I have had the opportunity and pleasure to participate in many program days like the one above, to meet some truly amazing students and adult leaders from around the county, and to visit important aspects of local industries that I would’ve never been able to see.
My advice for any rising junior would be, “Apply! Try it out! You won’t regret it.” Take it from a past student and a now board member, learning about the ins and outs of your county on such a personal level will only benefit your understanding of your surroundings, give you an appreciation for our beautiful county and provide you with a deeper understanding of the industries you may take for granted every day.
So...look around the Website! Send in an application! Ask questions! We’re here to help to guide you
through this wonderful county opportunity.
Hope to see you in the program in the future,