Founded in 1986, the first graduating class consisted of 24 graduates. The program aims to provide citizens with an opportunity to learn about Laredo, its rich history, and provide a platform that
empowers and educates emerging and current leaders to elevate our community and engage in opportunities and challenges facing our bicultural border region.
Since its inception, the program has graduated over 25 classes including over500 graduates. The prestigious curriculum engaged numerous local professionals. Its class rosters include many local elected officials, education leaders, banking professionals, and more.
Several esteemed community leaders have graduated from the program, such as former Mayor Betty Flores, District Attorney, Chilo Alaniz, The Most Reverend Bishop James A. Tamayo, Democratic Party Chair Sylvia Bruni, and Laredo College President Dr. Minita Ramirez.
The 8-month program is scheduled to run from March 2024 to September 2024. These monthly sessions will be held on the first Wednesday of the month from 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
Sessions include a variety of topics including leadership, culture, transportation and infrastructure, education and workforce development, health and human services, government and more.
To apply, candidates must submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and an essay explaining their motivation to participate in the program. Applicants are also required to secure a commitment from their company owner, GM, or supervisor. This commitment entails supporting the candidate and allocating necessary time for program activities, including monthly sessions, the opening retreat, etc.
To ensure diversity, a maximum of two candidates from the same company can be accepted per class. Each class will consist of 30 participants, with 16 graduates nominated for the steering committee.
Program Tuition is $550 annually and is payable by the first session, ensuring commitment and investment in the program. Application deadline is 5:00 p.m. on February 19, 2024.
Applications are available online at laredochamber.com or at the Laredo Chamber office at 5702 McPherson Rd. Suite 8B during regular business hours.