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Flagler Hospital Kicks Off Youth Leadership Program with Annual Retreat

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Gina Mangus

Flagler Hospital recently kicked off its second year leading the Youth Leadership St. Johns program with a weekend retreat at Camp Montgomery in Keystone Heights, Florida. Participants, who are high school juniors from every school in St. Johns County, are selected through a highly competitive application process. Beginning with the two-day retreat, students learn the importance of teamwork, gain a better understanding of what it means to be a leader, and then put those skills to use as they discover many new sides of the county over the course of eight program days (like Law Day, Social Services Day, and Business Day).

“Our hope is that by the end of the program, students will have met a number of key contacts throughout the community, honed their leadership skills, gained a clear idea of what makes St. Johns County work, created fun memories and formed meaningful friendships,” commented Francesco Manfredi, who oversees the program as part of his role as Marketing Coordinator at Flagler Hospital.

The youth program was established seventeen years ago by the Chamber of Commerce Leadership St. Johns Class of 2001. Local leaders Kathy Mignerey and Nancy Birchall were part of that class and have been involved with the program ever since. They led the students through several sessions at the retreat including the Eight Styles of Leadership and how to plan a successful fundraiser. The students also learned “Roberts Rules of Order” and participated in fundamental team building activities led by a professional leadership coach.

There was some time for fun too, especially when members of the class learned that the three participants from Ponte Vedra High School were missing their homecoming event to be there. The class quickly crafted their own homecoming crowns, arranged an impromptu dance and crowned the Ponte Vedra students king and queens.

Although the impromptu homecoming was a great moment, the students’ thirst for knowledge and passion for community was most evident and inspiring throughout the weekend.

“We are extremely pleased to carry on the great work that the Chamber of Commerce started with the Youth Leadership St. Johns program,” stated Flagler Hospital President and CEO Jason Barrett. “Promoting community, leadership and service are core to UF Health Flagler Hospital’s aim to improve the physical, emotional and economic health of the communities we serve. I look forward to seeing these students emerge as future leaders in our region.”

About Flagler Hospital

Flagler Hospital is a 335 bed, acute care hospital that was named one of America’s Best Hospitals by Healthgrades in 2018. The hospital has operated as a not-for-profit health care institution in St. Augustine, Florida since its founding in 1889. Flagler Hospital's commitment to quality has resulted in numerous national accreditations including, designation as a Primary Stroke Care Center, ANCC Magnet Status for Nursing Excellence, national accreditation for its total hip and total knee replacement programs and accreditation of its Cancer Institute by the Commission on Cancer. To learn more about all of the hospital's services log on to



Gina Mangus