LEONARDTOWN, Md. – November 12, 2021: The Patuxent Partnership (TPP) has helped Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM) accomplish its mission of inspiring and educating regional leaders for over a decade in a myriad of ways including sponsorships, employee participation in LSM programs, and an annual scholarship for a nonprofit participant in the Executive Program. This breadth of support has wide-ranging impacts, not just on LSM, but on the Southern Maryland community as a whole. The TPP scholarship provides an immediate and measurable benefit by enabling the recipient to participate in LSM when he or she would not be able to otherwise.
TPP’s sponsorship of the Leadership Southern Maryland nonprofit scholarship began over ten years ago after TPP Executive Director Bonnie Green had a conversation with then LSM Director Karen Holcomb. “We had a discussion about the fact that the nonprofit community would benefit greatly from participation [in LSM] but there was no way they [nonprofit organizations] could come up with tuition,” Green said. She noted the shoestring budgets that often constrain nonprofits in their ability to provide training and growth opportunities for their employees. “We saw the value, as a nonprofit, to have the nonprofit community realize the benefit of participating in LSM,” Green added. TPP felt compelled to make that goal more attainable, and the LSM Nonprofit Scholarship was established.
Although the scholarship doesn’t cover the full tuition for LSM’s Executive Program, it was Green’s hope that it would open the door for nonprofits who could supplement the remaining tuition through the support of their boards or foundations. This has been a workable solution for recipients like Class of 2022 participant William “BJ” Hall.
Well-known for his work in the community as president of the St. Mary’s County NAACP chapter, Hall is also the founder of Reach Back & Lift 1 (RB&L 1.) The organization’s mission is “to assist youth and young adults with professional, personal, and leadership skills by providing training, programs, and partnerships with local business leadership.” Hall explained that RB&L 1 doesn’t have financial support for training in its budget at this point. The LSM nonprofit scholarship helped to close the gap, allowing him to join the Executive Program, Class of 2022. “It definitely played a big role in me participating,” he explained. Hall emphasized that the connectivity LSM provides is key to helping leaders communicate and achieve more together than they could have individually. “I think it’s important that all three counties move together as a unit,” he said. “We need to have connections so we can be aware of how our decisions impact everyone.”
That’s exactly the impact TPP was hoping the scholarship would have. “Each county is looking inward more than outward,” Green said. “LSM forms new relationships and broadens community outreach. We recognize the value that LSM represents to our area and the state.”
Green also noted that TPP’s relationship with LSM is further strengthened through TPP employees who have graduated from the Executive Program. MaryKay Myers, LSM’10 is a lifetime member of the Leadership Southern Maryland Alumni Association and actively supports the organization as a member of the finance committee. Recent graduate Jen Brown, LSM’19 serves on LSM’s programs committee and describes her experience through LSM as “life-changing.” “When you are in a cohort and then an alum, you have this wealth of connections. That is a unique aspect of LSM,” Brown said.
Green agrees. Her employees’ lasting commitment to LSM reinforces her belief that LSM is an organization that continues to make a difference in Southern Maryland. “That’s why LSM matters so much,” she said. “It’s a real game changer in the community.”
Leadership Southern Maryland is thankful for community partners like TPP whose support is critical in enabling the organization to carry out its mission. Find out more and learn how you can become an LSM supporter at www.leadershipsomd.org.