The People Ready Communities Leadership Program brings together community members who make a six–month commitment to grow their leadership skills and complete a hands–on project that supports building a vibrant economy. The work unites sectors that are not normally considered to be in economic development but that are on the front lines of welcoming new workers, supporting local businesses, and creating inclusive pathways for all people to thrive.
What will you gain?
The People Ready Communities Leadership Program strengthens practical leadership skills and offers innovative perspectives. You will:
1. Deepen your understanding of the connection between quality of life and economic
development, particularly considering what is important to entrepreneurs, industry, remote
workers, and tourism initiatives.
2. Explore and enhance your leadership strengths and the skills that allow you to make a
3. Engage your personal leadership strengths on an action-oriented community team that expresses
a vision of what it means for your community to be People Ready and carries out a project that
supports that vision.
4. Connect with other leaders—both at home and across the region—who are working to create a
community economic narrative that portrays welcoming places and innovative approaches to
What will you experience?
You will join a team of 15 people from your community for a six-month leadership experience. The
People Ready Communities Program allows for active participation that is engaging and applicable to
making a difference in your community.
The People Ready Communities Leadership Program includes the following activities:
1. An orientation meeting in your community, in March 2023 (2 hours)
2. An opening workshop on the Berea College campus, April 13-15, 2023 (2.5 days)
3. A six-month project in your community (6 to 8 hours per month, depending on the project)
4. A mid-term workshop in your community, between June-August 2023 (4 to 6 hours)
5. A closing workshop on the Berea College campus, October 20-21, 2023 (1.5 days)
What will you pay?
The People Ready Communities Program has no fee and covers lodging and meal costs during the workshops. Upon request, fellowship stipends are available to cover transportation, childcare, or other participation costs. The program requires a commitment of time and energy over the six months to grow connections, build skills, and complete a community project.
About Brushy Fork Leadership Institute and the People Ready Communities Leadership Program
For more than 34 years, the Brushy Fork Leadership Institute, a Strategic Initiative of Berea College, has offered leadership and community development opportunities throughout central Appalachia. The People Ready Communities Leadership Program is supported by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, and other private funders.
How to Apply
We are currently accepting applicants from the Kentucky counties of Bell, Floyd, Perry, and Clay. You can apply for the People Ready Communities Leadership Program by clicking here!
DAY 1: Thursday, April 13th (half day)
12:00 pm Registration Opens with Lunch
1:00 pm Welcome to Berea College | Overview of the program
1:15-2:00 pm Session 1
2:15-3:45 pm Session 2
4:00-5:00 pm Session 3
5:00-5:30 pm Guest Speaker
5:30-6:30 pm BREAK
6:30-8:00 pm Dinner and Trivia Night at Rebel Rebel Studio & Lounge
8:00 pm Adjourn for the evening
DAY 2: Friday, April 14th (full day)
8:00 am Breakfast opens
9:00 am Morning sessions
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Afternoon sessions
5:30-6:30 pm Evening activities (optional; choose one)
Crafts Outreach broom making activity
Historical Walking Tour of Berea College campus
6:30 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Adjourn
DAY 3: Friday, April 15th (half day)
8:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am Morning sessions
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Reports on project plans from County Teams
1:45 pm Closing session
2:15 pm Adjourn
In order to park in a Berea College visitor’s lot, workshop participants must a Brushy Fork parking decal to display on their dash/in their windshield. This parking pass may be found here. If you forget or are unable to print one, a pass will be available for pickup at the workshop registration table.
Please use the following campus map in order to locate visitors parking lots on Berea College’s campus. Brushy Fork is not responsible for any parking violations or ticketing that results in failure to follow campus policy parking procedures, and cannot reimburse you or have parking tickets forgiven. This also applies for the two-hour parking spaces around town. Please use the campus visitors lot to ensure your convenience. The workshop will be held in the Alumni Building, #28 on the campus map.
Lodging and meals will be covered by the Brushy Fork Leadership Institute for the duration of the Opening Workshop. These details will be communicated with your directly after workshop registration.
If you experience any difficulties or unforeseen circumstances that may affect your participation in the 2023 Opening Workshop, please reach out to Daniel Ferrebee Jr. at 859-985-3861 or Jacqueline Corum at 859-985-3436. Thank you!