Future Leaders Conference

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February 28, 2017
The Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce Advisory Council partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield to teach networking skills plus highlight various careers for the Club's Keystone members and non-Club members who are high school age. The evening also included a workshop on "Interviewing Best Practices" by Robert Salaga of The Tutoring Club and panel presentations by members of the Advisory Council.  The event was called the Future Leaders Conference and was held on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Boys & Girls Club on Governor Street. The night consisted of three main stations: Networking with Professionals, Job Fair Exploration, and the Workshop. The night concluded with a panel of business professionals sharing their hardships, obstacles overcome, and story of how they got to where they are today, along with advice and tips for the teens as they progress through life. The Future Leaders Conference event was open to non-Club and Club teens (8th-12th grade), and over 75 business professionals attended as mentors.

In 2016, the Keystone Club found that the majority of its teen members lacked the resources needed to excel in the areas of college preparation and future readiness. As a result, the Keystone Club was fast acting and successful in creating several events to help teens gain a better grasp on their struggle with these two topics. In working closely with Pam Banks, Attorney at Law, and the members of the Advisory Council for the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce, the Club was able to implement two Networking Events for teens, Night of Networking and a Career Fair. For both events, up to 50 business professionals attended and shared their knowledge and expertise regarding their profession. Teens came dressed to impress with business cards and prepared questions.  Both events ended with a panel discussion from five business professionals sharing their stories of struggle, perseverance, and success with their career paths, which helped to greatly ease the minds and calm the nerves of the teens that attended.  In 2017, these topics were combined into one evening called the Future Leaders Conference.

“This incredible networking opportunity gave young adults, like me, the opportunity to steadily prepare ourselves for the real world out there. One moment, we’re all blinded, scared, and confused- then, networking comes along. Suddenly, we aren’t so lost anymore. I’d like to thank all of the professionals for making this possible.”- Nikita Licudine, Sophomore.

“I cannot thank all of the business professionals enough for taking the time out of their busy day to come and share their knowledge and expertise with the Keystone members. The interactions and discussions made allowed for the teens to open up a whole new perspective on the many possibilities and opportunities this life has to offer, that they can one day achieve. The night was an impactful one and I thank everyone who attended for making that possible. The teens fully enjoyed the opportunity to have conversations with each of the professionals, and many of them were pleasantly surprised by the careers they had never been introduced to prior. I hope everyone involved knows how much the staff and Keystoners appreciate your thoughtfulness. I look forward to continuing this partnership each year!”- Jess Murphy, Program Director and Keystone Advisor at the Boys & Girls Club.

About the Keystone Club:  The Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield’s Keystone Club is a nationally award winning, high school Character and Leadership group.  Members of the Keystone Club are in grades 9 through 12.  

About the Advisory Council:  The Advisory Council is a group of Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce members whose businesses serve in an advisory role – attorney, insurance, real estate, financial advisor, banking, tax, elder care & disability management, travel services.  The Council meets on a monthly basis to plan workshops and information programs for community organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, Ridgefield Library, and Founders Hall.

For more information about this event or the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce Advisory Council, please call the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce at (203) 438-5992.

Jen Mulhern, Office Manager
(203) 438-5992

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