I’m privileged to facilitate Youth Leadership Reno County with Amy Conkling. We’re a program of the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce and enjoy a remarkable partnership with local public and private school districts. Thirty-two 7th and 8th (four from each public/private school in Reno County) participate in our program. We usually kick off in late October and go until late January/early February. We get to experience so many great things about Reno County. And, in a deeper way, I’m very grateful for the deep work that our students do around leadership challenges they face. This year, I had students working on projects related to fundraising for important school infrastructure (in the private schools), offering electives, how rumors in local communities affect student morale, relationships between teachers and students, bullying, helping students in districts maintain eligibility, and how a shrinking enrollment affects local school life. Digging into challenges like these can be daunting for any of us, but these students considered what their purpose was, who stakeholders were on these issues, how they might find a collective purpose with those stakeholders, as well as some experiments they could try. Our program culminates with a trip to Topeka where we get to meet the governor and local legislators. We had graduation this past Sunday at 1 PM. It was a full year, but I’m grateful to get to be a part of the work of such amazing people.