Chamber Helps Delaware County High School Sophomores Learn About Power of Leadership

2016 Leadership Delaware County Class Photo

A group of high school sophomores from Delaware County recently learned about the power of leadership and were encouraged to become better prepared to take on such opportunities in the future at the 8th Annual Youth Leadership Academy at Penn State-Brandywine.

The three-day program is the brainchild of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and the Workforce Development Board, and it was a celebration of student achievements.

Comcast, Delaware County Women’s Commission, United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey, Exelon Generation, Thunderbird Pizza, and the Delaware County Office of Behavior Health, Division of Drug and Alcohol were all sponsors.

The students who participated, with their schools in parentheses, were:

  • Olivia Andrisani (Academy of Notre Dame de Namur)
  • Suzanne Carpenter (Archbishop Carroll)
  • James Dougherty (Archbishop Carroll)
  • Stephen Swanick (Cardinal O’Hara)
  • Aliyah Brodie (Chester)
  • Jannelle Hartshorn (Chester)
  • Jasmine Hartshorn (Chester)
  • Melanie Hull-Dempsey (Chichester)
  • Adam P. Klein (Episcopal Academy)
  • Graham McAllister (Delaware County Technical High School)
  • Sindy Palma (Delaware County Technical High School)
  • Elena Taylor (Garnet Valley)
  • Emma Davies (Haverford)
  • Wyatt McDevitt (Interboro)
  • Katie Nunan (Marple Newtown)
  • Savanna Urban (Merion Mercy Academy)
  • Maura Fee (Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast)
  • Neve Spellman (Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast)
  • Erica Williams (Sun Valley)
  • Francisca Mukova (Penn Wood)
  • Natalie Mantegna (Penncrest)
  • Dan Bullock (Radnor)
  • Ryan Kennedy (Ridley)
  • Rachel Gould (Springfield)
  • Sarah Jordan (Upper Darby)
  • Nicole Strasinski (Upper Darby)
  • Tommy Ricci (Upper Darby)

Throughout the Academy, interactive sessions addressed a variety of topics, including Business Leadership, Working with the Media, Government/Political, and Non-Profit Leadership. During the three days, students also were able to meet and work with four different leadership panels. Panels were arranged with local area leaders in these four categories:


  • Colleen P. Morrone (Delaware County Councilwoman)
  • Caitlin Ganley (District Director, Congressman Patrick Meehan)
  • Thomas J. Judge, Jr. (Chief Administrative Officer, Upper Darby Township)
  • Ed Kelly (Springfield Township Commissioner)


  • Laura Kasper (President/CEO, Monarch Staffing)
  • Michael Simpson (CPA, CVA, Partner- Brinker, Simpson and Co. LLC)
  • Steve Landers (Owner, Thunderbird Pizza)
  • Lisa Luke (Axalta)
  • Jacqueline Gardner (Tomorrow Utilities)


  • Doreen Storey (Executive Director, Delaware County United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey)
  • Mike Ranck (President and CEO, Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County)
  • Clayton Fitch (Senior Grant Writer, Pathways PA)
  • Kelly Colvin (Associate Director, Center on Regional Politics, Temple University)


  • Phil Heron (Editor, Delaware County Daily Times)
  • Jen Boyett (Government Affairs Manager, Comcast)
  • Bill Tyson (Penn State and Chair of Press Club)
  • Kathleen Carey (Business Writer, Delaware County Daily Times)
  • JB Braun (Publisher, Main Line Today)

“Our future depends so much on the next generation of individuals who are willing to accept the challenge, that we must help nurture and support our young area leaders,” said Chamber president Trish McFarland. “The Delaware County Chamber is committed to recognizing the leaders of tomorrow, and promoting the success of our students.”

Click here to read more about the Youth Leadership Academy on the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce’s blog.

Click here to read more of DELCO Today’s coverage of the event.

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