Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) For the past six months, local men and women got a behind the scenes look at Broome County and formed better leadership skills as students in the Binghamton Leadership Institute.
The 27th BLI graduation was held Thursday night at the Binghamton Country Club, and 19 students received their diplomas.
Students have met every two weeks since September to learn more about the different features in the Broome County community, like different businesses and leaders who help run the community and problems the community faces.
One of the graduates, Tom Novak, said the program gave him a better understanding of a new area.
"Not being from the Greater Binghamton area, it's really opened up my eyes to the value, the depth and breadth of knowledge and talent that we have in the community," Novak said.
Students at BLI participated in events such as rock climbing, networking and community service. Novak said those activities helped students learn how to work better with each other and other businesses.
"It was great to understand how diverse our community is, and basically the understanding that there is a lot of potential here. There is a lot going on currently that we should showcase," Novak said.
BLI is sponsored by Greater Binghamton Education Outreach Program and a part of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. The program runs every year from September to March and they accept no more then 20 students every year.
To get accepted into the program, applicants wrote essays, had letters of recommendation, and showed they've participated in community events.