Berkshire Leadership Program Past Special Projects2023-07-20T09:42:20-04:00

Past Special Projects


Berkshire County has many attractions from where to live, work and visit that deserve to be showcased in the eyes of the BLP Class of 2023.  After much discussion and deliberation, the class chose to focus on Berkshire Gems as defined by the Class of 2023 and highlighted on an interactive, multimedia map to showcase Berkshire County as a magical place to live, work, and visit.  This map features clickable links that reveal brief video, written, audio and/or multimedia testimonials about why that curated person, place, product, or space is such a gem to the members of the Class of 2023.


The BLP Class of 2022 chose to focus on advocacy for mental health workers in Berkshire County for their class project.  The class wrote and recorded public service announcements to educate the public about the work of mental health workers and stating their support for mental health and counseling organizations in the Berkshires.  See the video PSAs recorded in both English and Spanish, or listen to the radio recordings in both English and Spanish.  On June 30, at Crissey Farm in Great Barrington, the Class of 2022 presented their project as part of the Commencement ceremony.


The 2019 BLP Class facilitated a charitable drive to support organizations throughout Berkshire County with the implementation of Berkshire Gives: One Day, One County.  The Giving Drive was held on Saturday, May 18, 8 am – 12 pm with 8 drop off locations spread out in Adams, Cheshire, Great Barrington, Lanesboro, North Adams, Pittsfield, and Sheffield.   Items collected were food, clothing, school supplies, toiletries, and other items that would help the diverse needs and populations in the Berkshires served by the following six charitable organizations: Community Health Programs (CHP), The Christian Center, Solider On, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Louison House, and Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Berkshires.  In total, the class raised $11,000 worth of supplies for organizations in Berkshire County.


The 2018 BLP class based their project on “Twenty Years of BLP” in honor of the Berkshire Leadership Program’s 20th anniversary.

The project had three components:
The Roots: Discovering the stories of past program graduates to reveal the positive impact the Berkshire Leadership program has had on its participants and the community at large since the program began in 1997
The Plant:
Honoring past BLP classes in a permanent and visible way by planting attractive trees throughout our community in which the class successfully planted 20 tress across Berkshire County
The Seed: Raising $20,000 to grow Alchemy Initiative’s Roots Rising program, which provides meaningful work to area teens at local farms, food pantries, and community gardens. The Roots Rising program was able to purchase a 15 passenger van with the funds raised by the BLP class of 2018.


The 2017 BLP class based their group project on a demonstrated need to communicate with young professionals and potential relocators the wealth of social and recreational opportunities available in the Berkshires. Together they compiled footage of examples as well as on-screen interviews to create a video sharing that positive narrative about the region. Watch the video to hear directly from class members about their experiences and enthusiasm.


The 2016 BLP class worked with the Elizabeth Freeman Center (EFC) for their group project. Together they raised over $5,500 some of which went to putting up three billboards along the county. The class also designed new promotional materials, increased security features on the EFC website, and significantly improved EFC’s social media presence. Watch the video to hear directly from class members and EFC staff about the experience. You can also read about the impact this BLP class had on the EFC.