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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 as Emerging Leaders.  The monthly sessions will be divided among the school year starting in September, 2023. 

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 high school juniors.

  • 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 $95 per credit hour or $285 for 3 credits. Each student qualifies for a partial program scholarship in the amount of $200. The remaining balance of $85 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

August 1st & 2nd - Retreat

October 14th - Community Service

Council Dates - TBD for January, 2024


  1. Applicants must submit the application to their school guidance counselor or career specialist no later than April 21, 2023.

  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.

2023 - 2024 Application


Please carefully read the application process instructions on page one before completing the application.

Are you in Dual Enrollment/Early College?
I describe my gender as:
How did you find out about the Emerging Leaders Program?


Please answer all the questions below:

Thank you for your submission!

Download and sign the form below. Please return to guidance counselor or email to

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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