34 years ago members of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce led a contingent to Denver to review a creative concept in developing community leadership. The result of that trip was Leadership Stockton, the first continuous program of its type west of the Rockies and the prototype for many leadership programs throughout California.

The idea that we can transform communities by developing our own leaders still holds true today. By developing enlightened, educated and motivated community leaders from all backgrounds and areas of our community, we can continue to transform Stockton.

Since its inception, more than 795 participants have graduated from the program. Leadership Stockton participants embark on a journey that puts them in touch with the Stockton community and each other, and develops their personal leadership skills.

One day a month for eleven months, participants meet for an intense study and discussion of specific topics. Various perspectives are presented through the use of panelists, tours and simulation activities. Participants also work on class projects that focus on solutions to real community problems. Each project is designed to bring about positive community change while teaching the value of setting and achieving goals.

Countless organizations benefit from the Leadership Stockton program. Benefits have not only been through hands-on community projects during the course of the class, but program graduates serve on a variety of boards and commissions in the Stockton community.