Created by Sumter Economic Development and TheLINK Economic Development Alliance, The Ross McKenzie Emerging Leaders Program for high school juniors prepares participants for leadership roles through monthly interactive modules. Each session is designed to provide insight on the innerworkings of the community allowing students to utilize critical thinking skills and team building to explore and create solutions for self awareness and community development. At the completion of the program, students earn three (3) credit hours through the University of South Carolina - Sumter Campus and graduate into leadership positions throughout the community.

About Ross McKenzie 

Ross Scott McKenzie was born on May 26, 1915, in Congaree, SC., the son of Ross and Cornelia McKenzie. After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 1936, Ross worked at Allied Chemical in New Jersey where he met his future wife, Margaret Satchwell "Satchie" McKenzie. After serving as a Naval officer in WWII, Ross returned to Sumter where he worked at Southern Coatings for the balance of his career and became President of the company. Ross led a life devoted to his church, community, business, and family. His leadership in promoting the Sumter County Museum was especially important to him. He was also a lifelong member of Sumter Rotary Club where he was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. Other accomplishments include serving as Chairman of the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, Covenant Place founding board, Sumter County Historical Society, Central Carolina Technical Foundation Board, and the Fortnightly Club.