On Friday, June 23, 2023, Leadership Geauga proudly recognized the accomplishments of 18 high school students who completed the Youth Institute program. The graduation ceremony occurred at St. Mary’s Church in Chardon, culminating a two-week journey for these rising junior and senior students. Thank you to University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center for sponsoring the Youth Institute program!

From June 12 to June 23, participants from various schools, including NDCL, Chardon, Andrews Osborne, Walsh Jesuit, Chagrin Falls, Kenston, and homeschool, embarked on Leadership Geauga’s Youth Institute program. The Youth Institute exposed students to invaluable experiences and insights designed to nurture their potential as future leaders.

The students engaged in a series of immersive activities and educational opportunities throughout the program. They began by undertaking a StrengthsQuest assessment, enabling them to better understand their personal strengths as leaders. Armed with this newfound self-awareness, the participants embarked on a 142-mile journey across Geauga County, visiting 22 organizations and meeting 72 local leaders.

The organizations generously shared valuable insights into various career paths and opportunities in Geauga County. By interacting directly with professionals, the students gained firsthand knowledge about various fields of interest, fostering a vision for their future success.

To further enrich their experience, the Youth Institute participants had the unique privilege of connecting with past Heritage Program alums. These seasoned professionals offered valuable career advice and shared their experiences, inspiring the students to forge their own paths confidently.

Additionally, each participant shared their career aspirations with the Leadership Geauga team, who thoughtfully paired them with a local business for a one-day mentorship experience. This mentorship opportunity allowed the students to shadow professionals in their chosen field, providing valuable real-world exposure and guidance.

During the graduation ceremony, attendees celebrated as the students took the stage to share their newfound knowledge and insights. The students shared the career opportunities they had discovered, expressed what they learned during the StrengthsQuest assessment, revealed their favorite stops during the program, and offered reflections on their mentorship experiences.

An audience of over 60 guests, including proud friends and family members of the students, along with Leadership Geauga board members, gathered over lunch to honor and witness the students graduate. Each participant was presented with a certificate of completion.

Leadership Geauga continues to be committed to fostering the growth and development of emerging leaders in Geauga County. By providing these high school students with unparalleled learning opportunities and exposure to local professionals, the Youth Institute program is shaping the leaders of tomorrow.

Youth Institute Graduates:

Jaxon Cicchella, homeschool
Molly Fitzmaurice, Walsh Jesuit High School
Mallorie Flick, Chardon High School
Michael Humphreys, Andrews Osborne Academy
Joshua Jaeger, Kenston High School
Madeline Jaroch, Kenston High School
Holden Kajfasz, Kenston High School
Troy Krahe, Kenston High School
Alyssa Leland, NDCL
Addison Martin, NDCL
Colm Matheney, NDCL
Tommy Moores, Kenston High School
Rachel O’Hair, NDCL
Lucy Rotenbor, Chagrin Falls High School
Luke Schaedler, Kenston High School
Caleb Schuetzman, Chardon High School
Julia Taraska, NDCL
Geneva Turkish, Chardon High School