When Austin corporate communications professional Alex Masters wanted to build a professional network outside of her day-to-day work circle, she applied for the Leadership Austin Emerge program. There she connected with like-minded, community-focused individuals who shared her passion for service.
"What you get out of Emerge not only depends on what you put into it, but also what you want to get out of it," says the 2012 Emerge graduate. "Many discover gifts they have to offer or the cause they've been searching for, while others recognize that they've spread themselves too thin. With insight from Emerge, [participants] reprioritize their community service to better match their passions and motivations."
Leadership Austin is now recruiting 55 passionate young professionals looking to make a difference in Central Texas. Through its Emerge program, the community leadership development organization helps participants develop critical leadership skills and create deep relationships to encourage their future involvement and collaboration in addressing the region’s challenges.
The 2013 Emerge program starts October 10 and includes six sessions on Thursday evenings over a two-month period. Participants explore their personal leadership styles while gaining the skills necessary for navigating complex problems and systems that come with civic life, such as teaming up with others and engaging with organizations in the community to make a positive impact.
More than 300 participants — ranging in age from 23 to 45 — have gone through the program since 2007. The 2013 application is available online, and the deadline to apply is Thursday, August 15.
"Leadership Austin is honored to have such high-potential young leaders participate in the Emerge program each year," says CEO Christopher Kennedy. "The value of the program is obvious by the increase in applicants we see each year."
Interested applicants are invited to attend a recruitment reception on Tuesday, August 6, to learn more about the program, speak to past participants and Leadership Austin board members about their experiences, and receive guidance on the application process. The reception will be held at J. Black's Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge on West Sixth Street from 5:30-7 pm. Those interested in attending can RSVP online.
"I left [Emerge] with the network I wanted and a new understanding of what guides me to volunteer and what I truly value," Master says. "It has changed the way I look at investing in my community."
Since 1979, Leadership Austin has been igniting passion for community leadership. The nonprofit organization has developed and created a stronger Central Texas community by training leaders from all walks of life. Leadership Austin programs explore critical community issues, develop the leadership skills to address those issues, and foster relationships that help facilitate positive, collaborative change in the community.