Leadership Niagara


LYNC Youth Leadership Development

LYNC is an eight-month leadership development program designed for youth to discover the leader within while learning about our community.  The program is available to 100 students from 13 local high schools each year through a multi-year grant from the Irene E. Witkowski Agrawal Foundation. Participants in the LYNC program receive a highly structured, open-ended opportunity to collaborate, to examine important institutions and programs across Western New York, to analyze complex social trends and social problems in the nation and across the globe and to investigate avenues for personal success in society, business, and schooling. The LYNC Class is taught and mentored by a team of leadership experts and LN graduates.

Participants may extend their learning and participation in LYNC in a course taught by Dr. Paul Vermette of Niagara University and Luke Kantor,  LN '13 and LYNC Facilitator. The 3-credit course focuses on the issues of diversity and globalization, democratic citizenship, leadership in personal and organizational frameworks and individual development.


LYNC Class of 2018-2019


 LYNC Sessions

Participating High Schools 

Barker High School
Grand Island High School
Lewiston Porter High School
Lockport High School
Newfane High School
Niagara Academy
Niagara Falls High School
Niagara Wheatfield High School
North Tonawanda
Royalton Hartland High School
Starpoint High School
Wilson High School

Testimonials from LYNC Graduates

"From LYNC, I've created deeper friendships with some people I would have never otherwise met, gone out of my comfort zone more often, and experienced life's opportunities more often."

- Madison Edwards, Newfane High School

"I have learned so much about leadership but also the community.  My old definition of leadership was turned on its head and I'm beginning to see what kind of leader I am and will be in this world." 

- Tyler Kugler, Royalton Hartland High School

"I learned that leadership is not just about leading others, but it is about listening to others.  This will change my leadership and my view of those who lead." 

- Adam Dryfhout, Grand Island High School

"I can be the change I want to see.  This will change my life in positive ways; it will help me reach my goals." - Jamie Nixon, Newfane High School

"My experience here made me realize that I need to help out more in my community.  I realized that even a little help could make a difference." - Lauren Candlena, North Tonawanda High School

"What I have learned in LYNC so far is being a leader is not as easy as it sounds because you need to learn how to put others first, learn how to analyze and solve problems, and listen to others." 

- Nicole Perry, Niagara Wheatfield High School

"I learned that there is a whole other part of our community that people don't realize even exists.  I have become a better person because of LYNC.  I have grown and am better at making decisions, playing key roles, and taking care of others."

- James Spanbauer, Niagara Falls High School


"I have learned how to best communicate with others, how to complete tasks well, and how to be willing to change.  What I have learned will enable me to be the best citizen and leader I can be." 

- Stone Geise, Newfane High School


"Each session is a new chance to make a better change in myself." 

- Hailey Johnson, Niagara Falls High School