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Welcome to

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“Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow”


To provide a greater understanding of contemporary issues through interaction and problem solving with peers and community leaders.


Emerging Leaders is designed for high school juniors to introduce economic and community development concepts. Each year approximately 25 high school juniors from Lee and Sumter counties will be selected to participate. The purpose is to prepare students to make a positive difference in their communities.

During this program, students will have the opportunity to:

  • Identify opportunities, enhance communication skills, team building, self-awareness and decision-making capabilities.

  • Engage with local government, business, education, health and wellness professionals.

  • Complete a service project for community or media relations.


  • Applicants must be rising high school juniors (i.e. junior in 2024-2025).

  • Applicants must live in Lee or Sumter counties.

  • Applicants must have at least a 3.00 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

  • Class members must attend the monthly sessions in their entirety.

  • Class members must agree to abide by all rules, policies and procedures as outlined.

  • Tuition through the University of South Carolina Sumter is $98 per credit hour or $295 for 3 credits. Each student qualifies for a partial program scholarship in the amount of $200. The remaining balance of $95 is the responsibility of the student or guardian and must be paid prior to the start of the program.

  • Class members are responsible for transportation to and from each class session.

  • Students enrolled in early college are ineligible to participate in the Emerging Leaders program. 

Mandatory Dates:
Two-Day Retreat: Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Required Community Service Project: October date TBD


  1. Applicants must submit the application to their school guidance counselor or career specialist no later than April 26, 2024.

  2. A recommendation letter must be included with the application package.

  3. A reference form must be completed by the school administrator or career specialist.


  1. Placement on a community board or committee.

  2. Serve as Regional Ambassadors for community events.

  3. Transferable college hours through the University of South Carolina.

Developing Leaders in Lee
& Sumter Counties, SC

Presented By:

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In Partnership With:

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TheLINK Logo

Lee & Sumter, South Carolina 

Economic Development Alliance

TheLINK is a public-private economic development organization charged with facilitating the creation of jobs and the investment of capital in our region. 

Contact Information

10 E. Liberty St., Sumter, SC 29150

Toll Free: 800.888.7926

Phone: 803.418.0700


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