Young Adult Library Services

Vol 15 No 1_Fall 2016

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FEATUREs Stephanie Schott Taking part in a leadership program can lead to unexpected opportunities and successes Leadership Anchorage History of Leadership Anchorage Leadership Anchorage (LA) started as one of 10 national programs of the Pew Partnership for Civic Change in 1997. The program was embraced as a way to gain more diverse participants in city government and serving on boards and councils. In turn, these organizations would garner more input from and exposure to various cultural and ethnic groups. By the time Pew funding ended, LA was adopted and sustained through local financial support. With the guidance of the Alaska Hu- manities Forum, LA uses a humanities approach to study the cultural, political, and civic environment of Anchorage, Alaska, and the world. The program prides itself on recruiting established and emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds and professions. Together, each year's cohort experiences a two day retreat, nine full day Saturday W hen someone hikes the complete Ap- palachian Trail within a year, it is called thru-hiking. However, most die-hard thru-hikers will never agree on who that includes since many purists exclude hikers who take side trails or those who hitchhike part of the trail. When I began Leadership Anchorage, a seven-month lead- ership development program run by the Alaska Hu- manities Forum, I came in as a purist. According to me, leaders were a particular kind of person with a specific personality type and trajectory. Even though I did not fit my own definition, I applied due to my annoying tendency to shake up my comfort zone. I approached the program much like a thru-hiker – checking the program's road map, questioning what I had gotten myself into, hoping I had everything I needed, and wondering how I would get to the end of the journey. Now as a Leadership Anchorage gradate, I realize the program was a stepping stone of a larger journey – this article is my revised personal roadmap, complete with side trails. FEATUREs 24 Y A L S » Y o u n g A d u L t L i b r A r Y S e r v i c e S » f A L L 2 0 1 6

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