The William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class is a one-year program that identifies young community leaders from diverse backgrounds, including members of minority and ethnic communities, and educates them about water issues. The program enhances individual leadership skills and prepares participants to take an active, cooperative approach to decision-making about water resource issues. Leading stakeholders and top policymakers serve as mentors to class members.
Criteria for Acceptance
Commitment to understanding water issues;
Interest in seeking leadership roles on public boards and commissions, or key staff positions;
Commitment to the community through volunteer activities;
Potential or existing opportunities for advancement to key leadership roles within their own organizations.
Designed as a program for young working professionals, participation involves a time commitment from both the class member and the employer. Class members are required to:
Attend a special one-day class orientation in January;
Attend two Foundation water tours (each tour is three days);
Attend the Foundation’s 1-1/2 day Executive Briefing in the Spring;
Spend a day “shadowing” a major water leader (from government, urban, agriculture,
environmental organization, private businesses, or public interest group);
Interview the water leader about an issue selected by the class;
Attend a special meeting in August to develop a class PowerPoint presentation about the assigned water topic;
Attend the Foundation’s Winter Board meeting to present the PowerPoint.
The William R. “Bill” Gianelli Water Leaders Class is primarily funded through grants, with partial support from tuition fees. Tuition is $2,500 for the year-long program, which helps to cover attendance at Foundation events. Each year, some scholarship funding is available, including the William R. “Bill” Gianelli, Jean Auer, Dave Kennedy and Tom Graff scholarship funds. To contribute to the Water Leaders Class, contact Beth Stern.
Applications for the 2011 class are due December 6. Contact Jean Nordmann for more information on the 2011 class.