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Gerard Hetman completes Rural Urban Leadership program

Gerard Hetman, Community Development Specialist at NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, recently completed the Rural Urban Leadership Program (RULE) of Penn State Extension, Penn State University, as a participating scholar in the RULE XIX class.

RULE is a transformational leadership development program that brings together community leaders from across Pennsylvania to foster both professional and personal leadership development. Participants come from all lifestyles including farmers & agribusiness, community leaders & officials, business and private industries, and education practitioners. They have different interests, and goals, with one common thread: a commitment to public involvement in solving community problems.

While the program has a strong focus on issues affecting rural Pennsylvania, RULE participants come from across the state, and study institutes are held in both rural and urban locations. Gerard was one of 22 scholars that completed RULE XIX, with the class engaging in ten study institutes over the course of two years.

 "It was a true honor to be chosen to participate in RULE class XIX, and to complete the program along with 21 other community leaders from across Pennsylvania," Hetman said of his RULE experience. "Our class featured a diverse mix of scholars, with each bringing unique skills and experiences to share. I learned a great deal from everyone who participated, and also shared my own experiences for the betterment of all involved. I look forward to applying the personal growth and increased knowledge I've acquired to better serve our community."

RULE XIX scholars learn strategies for taking charge and leading their organizations and communities in positive directions. Through practice, each participant assumes new responsibilities and develop new skills and confidence. Every skill they learn is directly and immediately applicable to the issues and problems facing their organizations and communities.

“We are extremely proud of Gerard for completing the RULE program,” said Shane Powers, President & CEO at NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Gerard's dedication to our community and his commitment to leadership development will undoubtedly enhance our efforts and impact across Pennsylvania. We look forward to seeing the positive changes he will bring with the knowledge and skills he has gained."

The RULE program has its roots in the Public Affairs Leadership Program (PALP), which began in 1971 and included five classes. PALP accrued 259 graduates to their credit. RULE started in 1985 and has 450 alumni. Combined, the PALP and RULE Programs have graduated more than 700 alumni who have gone on to become catalysts for change in their communities.

For more information on the Rural Urban Leadership Program (RULE), please visit the RULE website at

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