Strong leaders, strong communities


A grant from the Foundation for the Future of Delaware County will support Leading Communities, a new program to build leadership across the county. ISU Extension and Outreach Delaware County is working to raise additional funds to bring the program to life later this year.  

Available statewide through county extension offices, Leading Communities is a six-session program designed for any community member who wants to become more active in driving efforts to address local issues and strengthen the place where they live. The initiative will promote engagement and address four core competencies and skills related to community leadership: 

  • Understanding your community
  • Identifying issues and opportunities
  • Building social capital
  • Mobilizing resources for community action. 

The program will be open to all civic leaders in Delaware County including elected officials, volunteers and faith-based leaders as an opportunity to connect current leadership and empower new leaders. Participants will become more involved with the community and build skills to effectively plan, develop and implement community action.

“ISU Extension and Outreach is committed to empowering our next generation of local leaders,” says Jade Schneider, county program director. “I hope the program will have a ripple effect and allow us to continue to make Delaware County a great place to live, work and play through strong leadership and connections.”

“The Foundation board prioritized funding for this project, because one of our own roles is to build connection between community leaders and local organizations to improve quality of life in Delaware County,” says Amanda Diers, the Foundation’s executive director. The Foundation brings together community members around a shared vision for the county – a place where all people feel welcome and have the opportunity to thrive.

Leading Communities is a chance to help people reconnect with volunteerism and civic engagement, which local leaders noticed have ebbed since the pandemic, says Schneider.

“We need to invest in our next generation of leaders and encourage that engagement and involvement,” Schneider says. “Our future success depends on it.”

To learn more about Leading Communities or assist with fundraising to bring it to Delaware County this fall, please contact Jade Schneider at or call 563-927-4201.