Since 2001, students of Fayette County entering their junior year of high school are selected by application and interview process to participate in the youth leadership program Leadership Fayette County.
Chosen as members of the Class of 2022 are Grace Angelona, Allie Ballard, Eli Calloway, Kalila Hames, Bethany Rosiek, Kai Smith and Hannah White, all students at Oak Hill High School.
Those juniors selected for the program attend 12 full-day sessions during their junior year. A favorite of these is Speaking Truth to Power. During this session students travel to Charleston to speak to political representatives of Fayette County at the Capitol.
During each session, students develop a working knowledge of the entrepreneurs, agencies, and programs that foster economic and social development in Fayette County. The sessions are designed to provide hands-on activities such as team building, public speaking, as well as self-assessment and improvement exercises. In addition, throughout the program students are immersed in critical and creative thinking-on-their-feet to become acclimated to the process of performing under pressure in real world situations. Those who successfully complete the leadership curriculum are awarded a $1000 scholarship.
Leadership Fayette County has over 200 alumni. Many of these alumni have returned to Fayette County to live, work, and raise their families. Their professions include education, accounting, marketing, law enforcement, engineering, health care and entrepreneurship. Leadership Fayette County is also fortunate to have two alumnae, Ashton Critchley and Angela Sundstrom, on the board of directors who are helping to ensure a better future for all of Fayette County.
The Fayette County Education Fund, Inc (FCEF) is a 501c3 nonprofit that administers Leadership Fayette County and several other programs. The goal of the Fayette County Education Fund is to provide Fayette County youth with information and tools enabling them to make an informed choice to return to Fayette County upon completion of higher education.
Scholarships and programming are made possible by donations to the Fayette County Education Fund, Inc., 501c3. Generous supporters include ACE Adventure Resort, Adventures on the Gorge, Ansted Lions Club, Appalachian Power Company, Bridge Walk, Fayette County Board of Education, Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, Fayette County Commission, Fayette County National Bank, Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority, Canyon Rim Rotary Club, Hamilton Burgess Young & Pollard, Impel Promotions, New River Birding & Nature Festival,, Opossum Creek Retreat, Robbins Company, and other generous community members.