The Zachary Chamber of Commerce founded Leadership North in 2011, and since then, the program has had more than 100 graduates.

Participation is open to anyone living or working in Baton Rouge, Baker, Central and Zachary, and East Feliciana, West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee parishes, who has the full support of the organization or business they represent.

The program is designed to engage emerging leaders and prepare them to meet the future needs of their communities. participants are exposed to challenges, opportunities and vital issues affecting the northern Baton Rouge region.

Each class is limited to 25 people, with tuition costing $500 per person.

The deadline to apply is Friday. Applications are available at zacharychamber.com.

The Leadership North program lasts seven months and begins March 17. From March through September, sessions are held one day a month for lectures, discussions, field trips and practical exercises pertinent to community issues.

Zachary Chamber Executive Director Kate MacArthur said the curriculum for Leadership North is designed with the following goals:

Develop informed, trained and committed leaders who understand the issues and needs of communities in the north capital region.

Create opportunities for leaders to meet, establish rapport and maintain ongoing professional relationships, as well as be encouraged to participate in the Leadership North Alumni Association after graduation.

Ensure participants involve themselves in greater roles in their communities through volunteerism in service and civic organizations, by serving on appointed boards and by running for local elected offices.

Create the opportunity for future leaders to continue to identify and study local issues.

Enhance the skills necessary to become effective leaders of the community.