Junior Leadership Bay program begins late due to COVID

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A little more than 20 soon-to-be seniors in Bay County unite for their first day of learning leadership skills.


They’re a part of the ‘Junior Leadership Bay Program’ which was put on hold during the school year due to the pandemic.


Now, the group will meet once per week over the next two months.

“We just are excited to kick off this year finally. We want to get these young folks excited about bay county, excited about the local economy,” said Austin Klanjac, Chair of the Steering Committee for Junior Leadership Bay.

In addition to learning learning leadership skills, every week has a different theme to enhance their [participants] knowledge on the local community.

Students will learn about the medical, hospitality, and non-profit industries throughout Bay County.


“They’ll go to different businesses that are categorized by the industry that they’re associated with,” said Klanjac.

Day one focused on communication skills including team-building exercises.


“We’re all trying to accomplish a common goal. We’re trying to get to one place; so, we have to talk with each other, communicate with each other to all be doing the same thing and be on the same page,” said Liberty McLean, Bay County Leadership participant.

While McLean already knows where she wants to go to college, she says the leadership skills she’s learning here are going to help pave her direction.


“I’m not really sure what I want to do so this is a cool opportunity to just see what’s out there, see what’s in the real world, and just learn some new things,” said McLean.

The program relies heavily on donations. The next opportunity to help will be on June 18th at the Chamber of Commerce’s dinner and silent auction.

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