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Youth Leadership Program (YLP)

Youth Leadership seeks to develop young individuals to be the next generation of community leaders; preparing them for constructive and responsible involvement in community affairs, while also thinking seriously about career pathways in Berkshire County.


The program has been developed for high school juniors who will apply in the spring semester of their sophomore year. Applicants will be selected based on demonstrated leadership qualities both inside and outside the classroom. Through Youth Leadership, students are given the opportunity to gain knowledge and insight that will help them make meaningful decisions regarding their future. And, the program is very affordable; tuition is $100.  Individual financial aid is available. Funds are limited and partial tuition assistance is issued based on need.   

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Youth Leadership is countywide in scope.  The program brings together a diverse group of students from public and private high schools in the Berkshire area.  The interaction among youth from all parts of the county encourages mutual respect, dispels misplaced fears, and results in a shared concern for a continuing commitment to the growth and advancement of the Berkshire area.


The Youth Leadership program provides the opportunity for students to learn and practice the skills necessary to become productive workers and community leaders.  Throughout the ten-month long program, students explore our community – its resources, leadership, issues and opportunities.  They share ideas and learn what it takes to become a consensus builder and effective decision-maker.  Participants examine the functional areas of business and the career pathways found right here in their own backyards.  They explore civic responsibility and the various roles they can play in their communities to inspire a life-long commitment to the Berkshires.

Congratulations to the Class of 2014 on their commencement!

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014 the Class of 2014 celebrated with a graduation ceremony for 28 high school juniors from all over the County who successfully completed the 10-month program.  Throughout the program, participants were tasked with completing a class project of their choosing.  The class developed an educational seminar on nutrition and presented to 5th grade students throughout the County.  During their graduation ceremony at the Country Club of Pittsfield, the students presented on what they learned throughout the program and from their project.    
With this Class, there are now 111 alumni of the Berkshire Chamber’s Youth Leadership Program. All alumni have engaged in a community service project and been introduced to viable, rewarding career pathways available in Berkshire County.  
Acceptance notices for the Class of 2015 will be sent in May 2014. The Program will begin in August with a 2-day retreat at Williams College. 

Questions? Email or call (413) 499-4000 x 126.

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