Bergen LEADS Celebrates 18 Years of Shaping Young Community Leaders

This month, Bergen Volunteers celebrated the 18th anniversary of Bergen LEADS, its successful professional development program. Since 2006, Bergen LEADS has been helping to aid community leaders as they work to make a positive impact on Bergen County and its residents.

The impressive curriculum, a wide variety of learning experiences and easy access to some of the region’s most important figures has led the program to become more effective and respected by many of Bergen County’s biggest decision-makers. Among just some of the powerful names that have been associated with Bergen LEADS are Bergen County Commissioner Tracy Zur and Holy Name Medical Center President Michael Maron. Notable alumni of the program include Bogota’s first female Mayor Daniele Fede.

By utilizing its unique civic engagement, Bergen LEADS has provided eager young minds with the resources and knowledge required to help build a better community in Bergen County. Alumni of the program are encouraged to join school boards and nonprofit boards, as well as pursue leadership positions within their community.

Former Demarest Mayor Ray Cwinksi, Rutherford Councilwoman Carolyn Smith, former Waldwick Councilman Paul Schatz, and Teaneck Board of Education President Sebastian Rodriguez also count themselves as Bergen LEADS graduates. “It gave me the opportunity to work with and also develop personal relationships with many leaders in Bergen County,” said Rodriguez, praising the benefits of the program’s resources. “I hope that as I continue to develop my professional and personal ventures, I can continue to work with past, present, and future Bergen LEADers!”

This month, the Class of 2024 graduated with the skills necessary to make a change and become a leader within their community. Applications to join the Class of 2025 open on July 30.