New student enrichment program Leadership for Life launches

Penn State Altoona will launch its newest student enrichment program, Leadership for Life (LFL), on Jan. 12 when the inaugural class meets for a kickoff retreat. The class then will meet biweekly for the spring semester.

LFL is a civic engagement program, designed to inspire and prepare students to get involved in their communities as young adults. The program will cover topics such as economic development and the business community, networking, board service and elected office, fundraising for nonprofits, issues in our society, leaving a legacy, critical thinking, teamwork, goal setting and how to make an impact your first few years out of college. Sessions will include presentations by community and business leaders from Blair County as well as the Pittsburgh area.

Conceived by Shari Routch, director of University Relations at the college, the LFL concept is based upon the Blair County Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Blair County (LBC) Program, of which Routch is a 1998 graduate and former program chairwoman. LBC, which initially served only the adult population, now includes a high school program, LBC Youth, but not a collegiate program. Routch hopes that the Penn State Altoona program will be a model for other Penn State campuses, as well as colleges in this area.

The 19 members of the inaugural LFL class were selected by the LFL steering committee based upon a rigorous application process. The program is open to all Penn State Altoona students, regardless of major or year in college. The program will be facilitated by Tom Baker, chief community affairs officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh, president of Baker Leadership and author of "Get Involved! Making the Most of Your 20s and 30s" and "Get Involved! Give Our Passion."

For more information about the LFL program, visit

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Last Updated January 07, 2013