University of Maryland Extension

LEAD Maryland Program Mentors Tomorrow's Leaders

Author: 
LEAD & UME team

LEAD Maryland Program Mentors Tomorrow’s Agriculture, Natural Resource, and Rural Community Leaders

The LEAD Maryland program awards educational two-year fellowships to candidates who have demonstrated emerging leadership abilities and a genuine interest in agricultural, natural resources, and rural community issues. Every two years, a diverse group of 20-25 Fellows complete the educational, training, and personal development program. Through program participation, Fellows become more equipped to solve problems, identify resources, engage and educate others, and influence public policy.

LEAD Graduates Serve Their Communities

The 2012 survey, with 101 LEAD Fellows responding, found that 95% were active in a community through volunteer work and positions. Almost 77% of the Fellows worked with six or more community, industry, government or other organizations since graduating; 14% were involved with 10 or more organizations. Close to 90% worked with nonprofit organizations, such as FFA, the 4-H Foundation and food banks. Nearly 70% of Fellows increased their volunteer hours after completing the LEAD program.

At a reported monthly average of 14.5 hours each, the survey respondents volunteered a total of 1,429 hours per month. Using the Independent Sector (www.independentsector.org/volunteer_time) estimate of the per-hour value of volunteer time in Maryland, the surveyed LEAD Fellows contributed over $32,500 per month worth of volunteer hours--an annual total of $390,000.

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