The James River Leadership Academy (JRLA) is a year-long leadership program for rising 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade high school students who are interested in advocating for the future of the James River. Students will develop awareness of how to apply environmental problem-solving skills to current issues facing the James River. Exposure to the James River and surrounding wilderness areas will also provide practice for Leave No Trace ethics and other safety protocols. The goal of JRLA is to engage, develop, train, and inspire participants in preparation of taking personal and community-wide action to address issues facing the James River. Throughout the JRLA, students will be exposed to the theory and practice of leadership, teamwork, and personal behavior. Exceptional behavior involves a commitment to the group, positive attitude and cooperation to achieve goals.

What does the JRLA mean to me?

The JRLA is a very unique and rewarding program to me. The program allows students from across the ten-thousand square miles of the James River Watershed to come together with other like-mind environmentally conscious students. All the students of JRLA receive training from our partnership with Luck Companies who have been investing in people, guided by the belief that “doing good is the best path to doing well.” Their commitment is to create a better world through Values Based Leadership. Our students analyze them self’s and find out what really makes them unique. From their training our students understand the importance of adapting, we remind students this is not about being something you are not, this is about a small change- dialing down your dominant energy by a little and dialing up the other person’s dominant energy by a little. Seeing our students progress bring me joy. The James River Association strives to empower our students with the knowledge of knowing leadership is a choice!