Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Adjusts to New Normal

The 2020-2021 Leadership Lackawanna youth program, Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT), recently met for its first virtual session, which included an orientation, leadership basics, and philanthropy. This year’s program is made possible by the support of its corporate sponsor, NBT Bank.

TLT is a seven-month program designed to develop the leadership, interpersonal, and managerial skills of high school juniors, while giving them an enhanced understanding of northeastern Pennsylvania. 

The program also gives them the opportunity to explore teamwork, collaborative decision making, different communication styles, and engage in problem solving techniques. The challenges and opportunities of northeastern Pennsylvania are discussed as participants meet with community leaders and other high school students.

Although COVID-19 has adjusted the program’s regular schedule, the virtual environment has created new learning opportunities for this year’s students.

“Thanks to the help and support of our volunteers, local organizations, and leaders, we have put together a high-quality program for our students in a virtual format,” said Dominick Mitchell, Leadership Lackawanna program coordinator. “I am impressed with the students and their enthusiasm for this year’s curriculum. A virtual setting is new for all of us, but their engagement in learning and with each other has been inspiring.”

The 2020-2021 Tomorrow’s Leaders Today participants from Dunmore High School is Jessica Trauger

Participants from Holy Cross High School include: Nora Betts, Laura Johnson, Sarah Lyons, Mariah Mancuso and Nathan McAndrew.

Leadership Lackawanna’s Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Program accepts applications from sophomores who attend high school in Lackawanna County or in the Lackawanna Trail and Western Wayne school districts.

Leadership Lackawanna Core Class 2020-2021

The Leadership Lackawanna Core program Class of 2020-2021 recently held its first session. This year’s class will participate in a mix of virtual and in-person sessions.

“Although COVID has changed the structure of our Core program, I have no doubt this year’s class will graduate feeling accomplished,” said Nicole Morristell, executive director of Leadership Lackawanna.  “This year’s participants have accomplished great things in their past, and I look forward to seeing how they will use the leadership skills they acquire over the next 10 months.”

In Leadership Lackawanna’s 10-month Core Program participants gain leadership, interpersonal and managerial skills, as well as an enhanced understanding of the issues relevant to the Greater Scranton area, through monthly sessions.  Areas of focus include community development, economic development, government, health care, law, education, quality of life, sustainability, history and media, with sessions featuring widely recognized specialists.  Members of the class also devote a large portion of their time to developing and implementing community projects, hence enhancing their leadership abilities, fostering teamwork and benefiting local nonprofit organizations.

The Leadership Lackawanna Core Program Class of 2020-2021: Stephanie Abraham, FNCB Bank; Jennifer Azarowicz, The Azek Company; Bailyn Bench, Proctor & Gamble; Joseph Bilotta, Tobyhanna Army Depot; Kenrick Brewster, Greater Scranton YMCA; Megan Coleman, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine; Michelle Cook, Community Bank, N.A.; Chris DePrimo, Penn Foster; Timothy Frank, Educational Opportunity Centers, Inc.; Alexander Gundling, Penn Foster; Vicki Hazzouri, Benco Dental; Patrick Keehan, University of Scranton SBDC; Matt Lewis, Allied Services; Kris Liebegott, Lackawanna College; Mackenzie Madigan, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates; Justin Marino, United Neighborhood Centers; Meredith Mercuri, Barry Callebaut; Jesse Novatski, Penn State Scranton; Sara Rinkunas, Penn State Scranton; Sean Ritter, Fancy Parsley Architecture+Design; Michele Santaniello, Fidelity Bank; Jennifer Shoemaker, Outreach Center for Community Resources; Erika Thomas, NBT Bank; Chrissy Thomas, Prudential Retirement; Walter Tompkins, The Azek Company; Frank Wanat, Tobyhanna Army Depot; Danielle Weinschenk, Tobyhanna Army Depot; Robert Welsch, Tobyhanna Army Depot; Vivian Williams, Scranton Area Foundation; and Thomas Zurla, FNCB Bank.

Calendar of Events: October 2020

Trivia Night

Leadership Lackawanna, NEPA’s premier community leadership and professional development organization, is hosting a Trivia Night on Wednesday, Oct.14, at the Circle Drive-In in Dickson City.

The event will feature trivia master and Leadership Lackawanna board member Jeff Cavanaugh, as well as four rounds of trivia: two rounds of questions, a music round, and a picture round. Guests are invited to play solo or with a team, and the event is suitable for all ages.

Trivia registration is $10 per person. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for tailgating and to purchase food at the concession stand. Trivia begins at 7 p.m. Raffle tickets will also be available for purchase (5 for $10 and 10 for $15).

Raffle prizes include $200 YETI cooler, $100 Wegman’s gift card, $100 Amazon gift card, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates gift basket, various restaurant gift cards, and more!

For more information and to register visit or

Pasta dinner

The Women’s Society of St. Joseph Melkite Catholic Church, North St. Frances Cabrini Ave, West Scranton, will host its annual pasta dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. featuring penne with meatballs, salad, bread and dessert available in the hall for takeout or curbside only this year. Cost is $9 for adults, and $4 for children ages 5-11. Tickets are available at the door. Call ahead/email to pre-order for takeout or curbside at 570-343-6092 or

Creative lab

Marywood University, in partnership with the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science, and Art, will host Virtual Creative Expression Labs for grades K-6. The labs will be held on Saturday afternoons, on Oct. 10, 17, 24, and 24, and on Nov. 7, 14, and 21, 2020. Studio sessions will be held for K-3 artists, from 1-2:30 p.m., and for artists in grades 4-6, from 2:30 – 4 p.m. Registration and costs can be found at

The Creative Expression Lab will be hosted by Ashley Hartman, Ph.D., assistant professor of art therapy at Marywood University, a board-credentialed art therapist (ATR-BC), and licensed professional counselor (LPC). 

Cancer Survivors Day

The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute’s 28th annual Cancer Survivors Day- Honoring, Remembering, Sharing -has moved to a virtual program this year due to the pandemic. 

The  theme is Be A Part – Apart and will feature cancer survivors, caregivers, family members, healthcare providers and physicians’ stories on our website and social media pages. Community members can be a part of our virtual Survivors Day by sending a photo, video, and/ or written testimonial of their story. 

For more information, go to or call the Northeast Regional