The Henrico Citizen

JRA recruiting students for James River Leadership Expeditions 

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(Courtesy JRA)

The James River Association is currently seeking student and teacher applications for James River Leadership Expeditions, a year-long program for high-schoolers interested in advocating for the James River.

The JRLE program is segmented into four sessions running from July 2023 through May 2024, and it provides students with the opportunity to enjoy river-based education, build new friendships, develop leadership skills, and carry out a community capstone project. JRA will accept 30 students in the 2023-24 program across the James River watershed.

The program kicks off in Session One with overnight summer paddle adventures on the James River. These trips are divided into three excursions covering the Upper, Middle, and Lower James.  Throughout the trip, students learn technical skills such as how to canoe and camp overnight and they receive further education through unparalleled access to local culture, history, and environmental teachings. 

Continuing into the school year, JRLE’s second session offers an overnight brainstorming event where students discuss community capstone projects together. The third session consists of a working group complete with games that tap into personality styles, self-awareness, public speaking, and relationship management. The program ends with Session Four, a leadership launch and environmental symposium, where students can present their capstone projects and celebrate their accomplishments for the year.

“If I could tell students one thing, it’s that you will never experience something like this again,” comments JRLE alum Nash McDowell. “The James River Association is offering an incredible experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. To spend one week on the James River, technology-free, with good company, is something very hard to find. When the opportunity presents itself, take it.”

For details and to apply, visit thejamesriver.org/students-of-the-james/james-river-leadership-expeditions/.

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