Leadership Skagit graduates class of 2023

Leadership Skagit graduates class of 2023 Main Photo

26 Jun 2023

Leadership Skagit

Leadership Skagit celebrated 27 new graduates earlier this month as the Class of 2023 completed its nine-month program with a graduation dinner at the Swinomish Casino & Lodge.

Leadership Skagit, a program of EDASC in partnership with Skagit Valley College, is an experiential community leadership development program entering its 20th year. 

“With more than 500 graduates of Leadership Skagit over the past two decades, we have seen the impact in Skagit County that informed and engaged leaders make. The reputation of the program rests on the clear evidence that the program’s students return to their work, family and communities with new skills and a clearer vision for their role,” said EDASC CEO John Sternlicht.

“We’re grateful to Skagit Valley College for the expertise provided, and to the volunteers, businesses, and financial supporters who are essential to the program’s continued success,” he added.

Graduates come away with an understanding of how various parts of the community function and work together, from environmental stewardship to county government to building a healthy community. Throughout the nine months, participants learn to apply a lens of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in their work and practice an inclusive leadership style that encourages diverse voices at the table. Participants spend one day per month diving deep into one of the curriculum topics, and then work independently in small teams to design and implement a project to benefit the community. 

Projects this year benefitted the Skagit Valley Family YMCA and Oasis Teen Shelter, Helping Hands Food Bank, Welcome Home Skagit, IRIS NW, and Mount Vernon Parks & Recreation and Youthnet. Explore the impact of these programs and learn about the students and organizations who made them happen here.

Leadership Skagit tuition is primarily funded by employers; however, some participants pay for the program themselves. We welcome donations to our scholarship fund to help keep Leadership Skagit within reach for individuals and small businesses. Businesses and community organizations can also get involved by volunteering their time, sponsoring a challenge day or sponsoring the Leadership Skagit program as a whole. To get more information on how to support the program, or to get on the waitlist as a future Leadership Skagit student, contact Ellen Hiatt