Warrick County Cares and Purdue Extension are teaming up together to bring back the Warrick County Community Leadership Program after nearly 10 years.

For $300, anyone in the county can sign up to participate in the program, which has the goal of creating a network of knowledgeable, committed and willing leaders who make an impact in their community.

Those who do partake will lean more about their own leadership abilities and community issues facing Warrick County.

"The idea is to build a good network of community members," Warrick County Cares Coordinator Margery Gianopoulos said. "This would be good for somebody maybe who isn't working full time, but is interested in their community and how to make it healthier with other people around the table making better decisions."

Gianopoulos said they are specifically looking for 20 to 25 people to participate in the leadership training, with the first session starting Aug. 16.

"We're looking for business people, people in the nonprofit world, maybe it's a stay at home mom who wants to participate and be more involved in the community," she said. "We want good diversity in the group so they are all learning from each other."

Gianopoulos said different organizations will be hosting the sessions throughout various locations.

"We are doing an exploring diversity one at the Islamic Center with a panel discussion of religious leaders, and I am really excited about that one," she said. "If you think about it, Warrick County is so rich in religious faiths. You've got the Islamic Center, the Hindu and Jewish temples and the various Christian churches."

Gianopoulos said she wants to tap into learning more about how diverse the area is locally.

"When you think about diversity, you don't see a lot in Warrick County," she said. "But definitely, you are looking at various cultures."

For more information about either helping to sponsor someone through the program or to sign up, contact either Carla Kidwell at 812-897-6100 or Marge Gianopoulos at 812-421-8336.

Gianopoulos said people are required to participate in 10 out of the eleven sessions and registration is due by Aug. 1 but they are willing to take sign people up as late as Aug. 15.

"They will receive a certificate from Purdue that states they finished this successfully and they can put it in on their resume," Gianopoulos said.

Gianopoulos said this truly is a cool program too get to know Warrick County better.

"As a resident of Warrick County, until I started to do coalition work, I realized that I was not aware of my own county," she said. "And this is a great way to get people involved in making decisions and seeing how things work. And Warrick County is growing so much and it's a great thing, but we want to make sure that there are people who have a voice and this is a great way to get involved."

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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