Leadership Columbia Experience Inspires 2013 Graduate to Start Her Own Business

jenna bridgers


Jenna Bridgers, recent graduate of the 40th class of Leadership Columbia, says her experience in the Columbia Chamber of Commerce program helped shape her decision to launch her own business. “One of the very first class days focused on the state of our education system. In hearing from several of our local education leaders, I began to question how and why things were as they described and what my part might be in helping create change.”

“We found it to be such a critical area of concern, this year’s class project focused on improving the reading skills of Kindergarten through 3rd grade students within 12 local public schools. We partnered with the Midlands Reading Consortium and helped make a positive impact in the lives of our children and a future generation of leaders within our community.”

Throughout the remainder of the year, Bridgers took note of things she learned, had meetings with educators from various sectors, and eventually decided to launch the Above Grade Level franchise in Columbia. “In talking with class members, and with contacts I made during my involvement with our project, I was encouraged that there was a need for supplemental education and that Above Grade Level was a perfect fit. The Leadership Columbia experience, for me, has truly been life changing, and I know I will be able to pay it forward by creating meaningful partnerships in the community to help impact the lives of our students and their families.”


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