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What is the Blue Ridge Energy Leadership Track?
The Blue Ridge Energy Leadership track is an innovative program for high school students that encourages leadership development, resume building and college preparedness. The Leadership Track is a self-paced point system that allows motivated students to compete for various leadership awards including all-expense paid leadership camp experiences, workshops and possible college scholarships.
Start: Opportunities for Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors
- Participants can begin their Leadership Track journey as freshmen or sophomores and can earn points for all-expense paid trips to the Broyhill Leadership Conference, the Cooperative Youth Camp, the Washington Youth Tour and collect rewards along the way such as t-shirts and other incentives, and workshop opportunities.
Leadership Track students continue to compete for leadership opportunities and workshops specifically targeted to the college application process are offered.
- Students will also have opportunities to attend resume enhancement and interview skills training and College Bound Essentials workshops.
Finish: Opportunities for Seniors
Seniors continuing on the Leadership Track will be eligible to become Blue Ridge Energy Ambassadors and serve on a district youth Member Advisory Committee. Seniors are also eligible to apply for one of eight $4,000 Leadership Track scholarships.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much time will the Leadership Track require?
Students can put in any amount of time to the Leadership Track that they choose. Many of the options to earn points are activities and extracurriculars that students would be participating in anyway. Now, you just have the chance to get rewarded for it.
Does it cost anything?
All fees for camps, conferences, and activities offered as point rewards through the Leadership Track will be paid by Blue Ridge Energy. Some workshops may require a nominal fee.
How often do I have to log points?
We ask that you update your points frequently, mainly so you won’t forget activities you have completed. This is also a great practice for updating your resume. Students are responsible for their point updates, so you can add points at your own pace. The most successful Leadership Track students are updating their logs monthly.
We know you are busy so you may receive reminder texts or e-mails. But remember, being a leader, you will be responsible for your own point tracking.
- How do I apply?
Can anyone apply?
Yes. Currently all that apply will be accepted. However, the amount of Leadership Track students per grade level may be capped in the future. Inactive students may also be removed from the Leadership Track.
Why is Blue Ridge Energy offering this Leadership Track?
Blue Ridge Energy has a long history of helping our members and communities. Educational opportunities and scholarships have been part of our commitment to our communities for over 50 years.
The Leadership Track is an opportunity for Blue Ridge Energy to help more students and develop future leaders. We want our local students to succeed!
Being an active member of the Blue Ridge Energy Leadership Track includes lots of “cool stuff” like t-shirts, planners, and stuff most high school students like or need.
For those who demonstrate great leadership and log the most points, the rewards are all expense paid leadership camps, college-ready workshops and perhaps a $4,000 scholarship.
How to earn points:
Leadership Track students can earn points by simply doing what they can to build their college resume. If you put it in your resume, it is good for earning points. But there are many more ways to earn points. Points.
- Leadership Development—what are you doing that demonstrates your leadership ability? This is often school, sports, club related activities.
- Community Involvement—what are you doing to make your community better? This is often volunteer work in your community, church, etc….
- Program Promotion—what are you doing to help get your peers involved in the Leadership Track. We need all the help we can get.
Please see the document 50 Ways to Earn Points to see all the different ways to be involved. Your ideas and suggestions are welcome too and will show your leadership abilities (i.e. Points!)
How to monitor and submit points:
Update and submit points as often as possible! We will send periodic reminders, but it is your responsibility to keep this information up to date.
How about some INSPIRATION!
Quotes and Testimonials:
“I have traveled all across the states and even the world providing college consulting with students and I have never seen a company embrace leadership development like Blue Ridge Energy. The Leadership track is truly visionary.” – Elizabeth Hartley, renowned founder of Scholarship Gold Consulting, author, and frequent scholarship judge.
“Our students need more opportunities to build an effective resume and also develop the skills to apply for colleges and scholarships. The Blue Ridge Energy Leadership Track is a great opportunity and they are making it fun.” – Dr. Steve Stone, superintendent, Caldwell County Schools
“The Leadership Track is an opportunity for many of our students to gain leadership training they may not otherwise afford or even know about. I think it is a valuable addition to our community.” – Linda Hall, guidance counselor, Alleghany High School
“The Co-op Leadership Camp was awesome! Collin had a fantastic time and now gets to go to NICE at VA Tech. I am overwhelmed by the opportunities available to him by participating with the Leadership Track. I know he is very excited. Thanks again for your support and help.” – Barbara Linnville, Leadership Track Parent
“Working on developing the Leadership Track has been one of the most exciting and humbling experiences I have had. I started out as a Youth Tour Participant in 2013 and worked my way up to become the youngest intern Blue Ridge Energy has ever had during the summers of 2015 and 2016. Through the help of my cooperative I learned not only valuable lessons on leadership and public speaking, but I also realized how important it is to give back to your community. Because of how helpful Blue Ridge was to me throughout my high school experience, I wanted to encourage other students to take advantage of all the opportunities the Leadership Track has to offer. I think my story really shows how powerful this program is for students and how truly passionate Blue Ridge is about their youth members.” – Nicole Fox, Founding member of the Leadership Track, Youth Tour Winner 2013, Junior at East Carolina University
"N.C. Youth Tour was an amazing experience, one I wouldn't trade for the world. I met so many great people and loved getting to know more about them and the different co-ops and areas they were from. Throughout the week, I loved going through all of the museums and monuments. When we visited Capitol Hill, I was honored to meet my congress representative, Mrs. Virginia Foxx, and hear her speak and have the opportunity to ask her questions. Overall, youth tour is a great opportunity offered by generous co-ops and is well worth the investment. This experience strengthened my leadership and public speaking skills and allowed me to make friends across the nation and broadened my views of the world around me.” – Gracie Greene, 2016 Youth Tour Representative
Note: Gracie competed for and won a public speaking contest. She received a $2,000 scholarship as well as a $4,000 Leadership Track scholarship to attend Appalachian State University.
Gracie represented all North Carolina electric cooperatives on all-expense paid trips to Washington, DC, and San Diego, CA.
Event Calendar and Important Dates
Important dates and opportunities will be texted to participating Leadership Track students.
Some special opportunities to watch for will be the call for applications to:
- the Washington Youth Tour typically due at the end of December;
- Broyhill Leadership Conferences, typically due in early spring;
- and various workshops for resume development, college bound essentials and college application essay writing tips, throughout the year.
Source for connecting students to college opportunity/success.
American Library Association
A collection of great sites for students.
Free study material for students taking SAT1.
Information about the ACT college entrance test, as well as resources to assist students and parents with preparing for college.
Meet the Team
Director of Community Relations: Grey Scheer
"Thank you for your interest in the Blue Ridge Energy Leadership Track. I am sure you will find this to be a unique opportunity to improve your leadership skills, build an effective resume, get the attention of college admissions, and provide you with opportunities to attend free leadership camps and earn exclusive scholarships.
To better understand what the goal of and mission of the Leadership Track, it is helpful to know how it came to be: Blue Ridge Energy has provided leadership camp opportunities and college scholarships for years, but recently we began to witness the improved public speaking abilities, increased college acceptances, and scholarships won by some of our leadership students. We realized that there were further opportunities to help our local students, and in 2015 the Leadership Track was formed and the impact has been significant.
The number of students participating in all-expense paid leadership opportunities has increased from less than a dozen in 2015 to over 60 students in 2016. Several of our students have earned large and small scholarships and been accepted into their dream colleges.
Energy Solutions Support Specialist, Cookie Bradshaw
Cookie Bradshaw has been involved in many facets of Blue Ridge Energy but finds her most enjoyment helping students involved in the Blue Ridge Energy Leadership Track. “I’m sometimes the first contact the students have and I like to nag for forms and such — but I understand student schedules. I have two children in college right now and I wish they had the advantages of participating in the Leadership Track.” The Leadership Track is self-paced. You get what you put into it. I can’t think of a reason a student would not want to take advantage of this opportunity to help them achieve their college admissions and scholarship goals.”