Why does Economic Development Have a Youth Leadership Program?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

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Economic development constantly looks towards the future. On Hand Development has been involved with a youth leadership group the past couple of years to get students involved in their community and hopefully have a sense of ownership and enough to bring them back as adults. Miller Youth Leaders are made up of students in grades 7-12 who want to be part of a community project. What happened along the way was that as they planned and launched these events, they became leaders in their own right!

Some of the events that Miller Youth Leaders were involved in over the past few years include:  1. Cozy Cabin Christmas (Giving entrepreneurs a chance to have a pop-up store front using garden sheds.) This project took place December of 2016, July 2017 and December of 2017. Eight different stores participated in this event resulting in one new business downtown. 2. Smoke alarm installation. Two youth leaders worked with local firemen to install 86 smoke alarms provided by the Red Cross.  3. Pop Up Movie Theater. In 2018, the group decided to do a pop-up indoor movie theater. Two movies were shown, a matinee and an evening show with over 100 kids and adults attending. Their next project is an art mural downtown and that project is currently underway.  

Last week, On Hand met with a new group of ten youth leaders to come up with their next project. We also talked about what they liked about Miller and what Miller could use more of. A few things the youth leaders like about Miller is the safe community, how the community makes them feel more valuable, the pool, and the parks. A few things Miller is missing is more activities like a year-round movie theatre and a bowling alley. The youth also brought up the fact that if a new couple wants to move to Miller, there isn’t a lot of new homes available. We are excited to work with the youth leaders on their next project. Stay tuned for more details on what we are cooking up next!

What does Miller look like without our youth coming back? Here at On Hand Development, we know the importance of looking towards the future and getting our youth involved in economic development in Hand County. Want to help? Learn more? Call me at 853-3098.

Category: From the Desk of Kecia Beranek