FLY at 25: Meet Jennifer Kearney

The 25th Future Leaders of York class graduated in May 2014. We're proud to share updates from FLY alumni on how their participation in the program influenced their leadership development.


Jennifer Kearney, FLY 10

As a junior at Dallastown Area High School, I had the opportunity to participate in Future Leaders of York.  This program was very helpful in fostering my leadership skills and developing my network.  I am now a senior at Penn State, and I have seen multiple FLY Graduates since coming to Penn State in August 2011.  I have been reminded constantly of the importance of networking, which I first learned at FLY.

In addition to continuing to network, I have also been developing my leadership skills while at Penn State.  I founded the Penn State chapter of Bridges to Prosperity in January 2013.  Bridges to Prosperity is a nonprofit organization that builds pedestrian bridges in third world countries in order to connect isolated communities with access to healthcare, education, and markets.  I led a team of three students to Panama last summer in order to survey the bridge site, and I am leading a team of 11 students to Panama in May 2014 in order to construct the suspended bridge.

I am majoring in civil engineering at Penn State, and I plan to use my technical skills in order to help people in my community and around the world.  In addition to partnering with Bridges to Prosperity in order to help fight poverty caused by rural isolation, I also believe in mentoring.  I am the Overall Lead for the Women in Engineering Program Orientation, which is a three-day orientation for first year women engineering students at Penn State.  I have been blessed with valuable mentors, and I hope to be able to pass along my knowledge and experiences to younger students.

I determined my passion for service at a young age, and I started to develop my leadership skills through Future Leaders of York.  I would not be able to lead a pedestrian bridge project in Panama without having prior leadership lessons and experience.  I hope that all students have the opportunity to learn how to use their skills and talents in order to serve others.

Future Leaders of York helps high school sophomores and juniors learn to become lifelong, responsible, active participants in their community. The class of 2014 included 37 students, representing 17 York County high schools. Program expenses come out to $1200 per student and tuition covers only 25% of that cost. Please contact us if you are interested in sponsorship or individual giving opportunities to help underwrite this program.