Community Voices: “Unlocking potential: Why Leadership Bakersfield is the key to our city’s bright future”

August 29, 2023

This post originally appeared on Bakersfield.com and in The Bakersfield Californian on Aug. 24.

In a bustling city like ours, it is imperative to understand the intricate web of industries, the community’s deep-rooted values, and the dynamic nature of our leadership. Leadership Bakersfield, an esteemed program run by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber for the past 36 years, does precisely that. As an alum of the 2018 class and the chair this year, I can attest to the transformative journey the program offers its participants.

LB goes beyond conventional leadership programs. It serves as a melting pot where participants from different walks of life converge to immerse themselves in the multifaceted layers of our city. From leadership, arts and culture, health services, and agriculture to law enforcement, education and energy sectors, LB gives participants a 360-degree view of Bakersfield’s vibrant ecosystem.

When I took the plunge in 2018, it wasn’t just an educational experience; it was transformative. I was exposed to sectors, information and connections otherwise inaccessible. The program opened my eyes to incredible organizations that deserve our support and granted me an understanding of our government and local industries.

LB isn’t just about taking in knowledge; it’s also about giving back. One of the program’s highlights is the community project. Throughout the year, participants identify a local nonprofit in need, devise a strategy, execute it and present the results. This not only equips them with practical skills but also infuses the spirit of community service, ensuring that every cohort leaves a tangible legacy behind. I still cherish the moments, teamwork and the positive impact we made.

For companies looking to grow future leaders, sponsoring an employee for Leadership Bakersfield is an investment with exponential returns. Employees emerge more aware, skilled and networked, ready to lead in their professional spheres and contribute to the city’s well-being.

From a personal standpoint, my journey through LB was instrumental in carving my leadership path. The program ignited a spark, fostering my leadership skills, helping me find my voice within the community, and giving me the confidence and direction to launch my own business.

For those considering taking a step toward enhanced personal and professional growth, I cannot recommend Leadership Bakersfield enough. And for companies, this is an opportunity to equip your employees with an unparalleled understanding of Bakersfield, priming them for leadership roles.

Applications for the 2024 class are now open, and we’re eager to welcome our next set of city leaders and change-makers. Don’t miss this chance to be a part of Bakersfield’s legacy. Applications are open until Aug. 31. Find out more https://bakochamber.com.

Together, let’s mold the future of Bakersfield.

Christina Springstead is an alumna of the Leadership Bakersfield 2018 class and chair of the class of 2023.

Read the full article at https://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community-voices/community-voices-unlocking-potential-why-leadership-bakersfield-is-the-key-to-our-city-s-bright/article_13bd9f84-41e3-11ee-8ea5-4f6bb45219ee.html

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