PITTBORO--Central Carolina Community College students Shanna Person and Kyle Czarnecki recently completed the College Edition of the Leadership Triangle program, a series of seminars designed to help create future leaders in the Triangle area and attended by students from Duke University, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and others.
The Leadership Triangle organization is a non-profit that partners with the United Way to educate citizens and students in the Triangle about issues facing the area.
"The purpose of Leadership Triangle is to enhance the quality of life of all residents of the Triangle by educating citizens and students in the areas of leadership development, communication, and networking skills," said Person. "The participants are then charged with going out into the world and making a difference with the knowledge they received from the program."
Founded in 1992 by James "Jim" Fletcher Goodmon, CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company, the Leadership Triangle conducts four leadership classes annually designed to connect current and emerging leaders for the exchange of ideas. Goodmon is also the leading force behind the restoration of the old tobacco district in Durham into the current American Tobacco District, a flourishing downtown destination for arts and other activities.
Among the objectives, events, and issues addressed in the Leadership Triangle program were building successful relationships in the business world, increasing awareness of poverty in the area and the problem of providing proper nourishment to both children and adults, how to properly conduct fundraising projects, meeting with four N.C. senators from the area to discuss the process of converting a bill into law, visiting and studying a diverse range of business models in Durham, and learning to work cooperatively to pitch business proposals to investors in a mock setting.
"The Leadership Triangle program has enhanced me as a citizen and as a member of all of the communities I am a part of," said Person. "I learned skills such as how to adapt my thinking to be more open to ideas that might be controversial and differ from my upbringing, and I found out more about myself and the things I value."
Person said the program gave her a better understanding of the problems facing the community and sharpened her passion to be a part of the collective impact that volunteerism can make.
"There are 100,000 children who suffer from hunger in the Triangle area alone," she said. "They need an advocate who will voice their issues and create change. I found integrity and the act of helping others to be at the top of my list of priorities."
A resident of Chapel Hill, Person will go on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology in 2016 and hopes to eventually obtain a master's degree in counseling.
"I have enjoyed learning and studying while at CCCC," Person said. "My professors have been informative and involved in my success in their courses. I feel that CCCC has prepped me for my next educational journey at a four-year university."
Czarnecki, originally from St. Louis, Mo., is a Chapel Hill resident and will transfer to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall. He plans to pursue a degree in biology.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit the website at www.cccc.edu.
Central Carolina Community College students Kyle Czarnecki (left) and Shanna Person (right) visit with Leadership Triangle President Winkie La Force.