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Connecting professionals to the community

"It shows that when people work together, everybody can do a small part and still make a big, big impact," he said.

Having the mix of people with different backgrounds and meeting 39 strangers in one day makes the participants quickly have to learn how to work together. The program helps people learn their strengths and weaknesses. Also, it teaches how to work with different personalities. The generational gap can also cause some difficulties in the workplace, he said.

"This is like real world learning it is something you don't learn from a textbook, you learn from personal experience," he said. "It helps you develop as a person and as a leader."

He said the group also visited some of the Schenectady schools to learn about programs offered geared towards the area. One course offered at the city's High School on forensics stuck out to him.

"We talked to some of the students first hand to see what they are involved in," he said. "The schools are actually trying to accomplish goals in the community totally they are also responding to what is going on around them."

Class members selected the project, so every year the group gets to decide a new community outreach venture to pursue. The group held various events to raise money and reached out to secure different sponsors.

"I think it is a life changing experience," he said. "It helps you understand that there are different types of people that live in our community and they all have different needs, but we all have to come together and find solutions to help people across all walks of life."

For information on Leadership Teach Valley and to apply for the program visit www. LeadershipTechValley.org or call Robin Granger at The Chamber of Schenectady County at 372-5656.""

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