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BARKER – Leadership Niagara began a new eight-month program for youth last weekend at Camp Kenan. Eighty student leaders from 12 Western New York high schools met for two days of orientation, leadership skills and concepts, high ropes and camping.

Leadership Niagara Youth is in its 14th year and has expanded to 12 schools in the region with the support of the Irene E. Witkowski-Agrawal Foundation.

Students will come together at different locations each month to learn and practice the values and principles of leadership.

Molly Anderson, executive director of Leadership Niagara, said the program is designed to prepare participants for their role as leaders in society. She said they work with mentors to offer diverse experiences in a positive and nurturing environment.

Leadership Niagara Youth is committed to providing the leadership program to 400 high school students over the next five years.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Irene E. Witkowski-Agrawal Foundation for their commitment to the Leadership Niagara Youth Program, especially in view of budget crises being faced by many school districts,” noted Frank P. Mergl, chairman of the Leadership Niagara board of directors. “This partnership with the Irene E. Witkowski-Agrawal Foundation lays the groundwork for our program that will allow more young people than ever before to develop their leadership skills.”