LEADERSHIP SAN JUAN ISLANDS (LSJI) is a county-wide tuition-based program designed to educate and motivate community members interested in developing their professional leadership skills and to facilitate their learning about issues affecting San Juan County. On April 30, 2004, a handful of civic-minded islanders gathered to found a program that would increase our community’s ability to govern itself as it respond to 21st century opportunities and challenges. Modeling the course after leadership programs offered throughout the country, the founders established Leadership San Juan Islands with the ambitious goal of ensuring that the future of the islands will be decided in the islands.
Since that first meeting, LSJI has welcomed into the ranks of its alumni over 165 islanders who continue to contribute their time and energy to benefit the welfare of our community. Every fall a new cohort is chosen, and they spend the following winter and spring together with faculty, community leaders, and resource people to develop their leadership skills.
Participants in LSJI come from all walks of life, are of all ages, and are rich in different experiences. In each cohort, LSJI strives to reflect the diversity of the islands, the wide spectrum of economic and social sectors found in the islands, and the variety of personal and professional endeavors of cohort members. Most participants, although not all, have college experience or degrees, and some have advanced degrees. Program participants are typically employed in some direct service or management occupations. LSJI seeks to balance the class by drawing participants involved in government, nonprofit, and business sectors.
Every participant and alumni of LSJI is involved in community activities, and many seek the skills training part of the program to become more effective in those endeavors. A requirement of the course is a 100 hour “give-back” in some volunteer activity. Some alumni have dedicated these hours to joining a nonprofit board, starting new organizations, creating festivals or events, or staying involved with Leadership San Juan Islands by supporting the next cohort and growing the organization.
Leadership San Juan Islands
P.O. Box 713
Friday Harbor, WA 98250