Bedford County Sophomores Discuss Region’s Future

The Bedford County Chamber Foundation recently hosted forty-two sophomores from Bedford County high schools for the Youth Leadership Bedford County Summit at the Bedford Elks Country Club.

Students from Bedford, Chestnut Ridge, Everett, HOPE for Hyndman and Tussey Mountain took part in the day of networking and mentorship with leaders from the business community, as well as visioning for the future of Bedford County.

“We are so glad to be able bring this program back for the first time since before the pandemic,” said Kellie Goodman Shaffer, President-CEO of the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce.  “This extension of our traditional Youth Leadership Bedford County program allows us to work with more future community leaders and members of our workforce, and this was a great group.”

The students began the day with ice-breaking and leadership activities with YLBC Facilitator, Dailey Chandler, introducing students to the themes of the day and to one another.  Then they had the opportunity to hear from community leaders about their careers, community involvement, and leadership roles within their workplaces as well as in volunteer endeavors.

“Bedford County is blessed with so many wonderful servant leaders,” added Goodman Shaffer. “For these outstanding representatives of their industries and our communities to take the time to share their experiences, and especially why they are passionate about working in Bedford County, is really special.”

In small group discussions, students shared their thoughts about the county and hopes for the future of the region with the community leaders and mentors, including Haley Feaster, Greg Hauck, Jennifer Judd, Pastor Brian Swain, Chris Bullington, Katie Fink, Katlyn Pennabaker, Dina McGee and Ralf Bauer.  The full group then discussed the young leaders’ wish list for Bedford County, which include a community center or YMCA, more jobs and housing options, and more diverse restaurants and things to do for their generation.

The day was highlighted by a lunchtime keynote conversation with Bedford County President Judge Travis Livengood, who shared with the students his 10 Guidelines for Life, concluding with some bonus advice: “Your success is dependent on two things,” he said, “what you devote your time to, and who you surround yourself with.”

Students were presented with certificates upon completion of the day’s activities. For more information about Youth Leadership Bedford County and all of the educational programs of the Bedford County Chamber Foundation, call 814.623.2233 or visit:

YLBC Summit – 2023:  Front row:  Alexandra Hendershot, Madylin Lang, Joseph Hott, Payton Burkett; 2nd Row: Summer Herline, Jade Trostle, Raven Bower, Hannah Freidenbloom, Emily Pratt, Loreli Clark, Haylie Hess, Riley Seville, Chloe Knisely, Kaelyn Lohr, Katelynn Thomas, Heidi Wright, Madison Walter, Johathan Hosselrode; 3rd Row: Barrett Brode, Serena Bottenfield, Aubree Weaver, Laney Brumbaugh, Lacie Colledge, Nichole Shippey, Hannah Smith, Hunter Lancaster, Sara Shaffer; 3rd Row:  Madeline Ritchey, Aaron Weiler, Kyler West, Owen Taylor, Joseph Huxta, Chase Bauman, Carson Lynch, Jay Stiffler, Zachary Imler, Grayson Harshberger, Racey Scheuerman, Casssidy Hall, Abigail Iseminger, Daniel Snyder, Braden Turner