With only two weeks before the Cornerstone Program application deadline, anticipation is growing as we review the applications already received. The prospective Class of LOXXVII is upholding the tradition of being smart, committed, community-minded leaders from a variety of organizations.

It's always interesting to hear the reasons why people value their LO experience. The reasons typically fall into one or more of the following categories:

The People - The bond and respect that develops between class members is visible early on. 50 people, mostly strangers, meet in September at retreat with the aspiration to be The. Best. Class. Ever. This year's class, LOXXVI, took it up a notch claiming they are The. Best. Class. Period. To see this group of diverse individuals grow together over the course of several months to collaborate and overcome obstacles to build a greenhouse and community garden for their Day of Service project was truly inspiring.

The Network - The LO bond extends beyond the class members. There is no denying the generosity and power of the LO alumni network, now more than 1,100 strong. We repeatedly hear stories of someone who had a need, opened up the alumni directory and contacted an LO member who was there ready to help!

The Experience - From retreat to the monthly sessions to the Day of Service, the LO experience stands out to many. They see and experience the region - its high points and issues - first hand, hearing from thought-provoking leaders and learning from one another how their input can impact the area.

The Investment of Time - One of the biggest hesitations participants say they had going into the program was the investment of time - one day a month. It doesn't take them very long to shed that concern and decide that it is well worth the investment. Many say it's the day they look forward to most each month.

The Fun - People just plain have fun being in the program and part of LO.

The biggest piece of advice LO alumni usually give to those considering the Cornerstone Program is "Do it!" With two weeks left to go, I encourage you or someone you know to take that leap into the unforgettable and invaluable experience of the Cornerstone Program.