Miller’s Youth Leaders are Already Leading

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In Miller, South Dakota, our youth are more than our future – they are our present leaders. We don't believe in waiting until our youth are grown to involve them in the community. Instead, On Hand Development (OHD) looks for ways to involve them in our community planning and growth today. That is why OHD sponsors the youth to attend the Rural X Summit. Every year, Miller’s youth leaders are able to hear ideas and use them to inspire annual projects at home.

The youth in our community not only have excellent ideas but their ideas have helped to launch local businesses. For example, in 2016, the youth leaders had an idea to rent garden sheds to people with business ideas. This was a way for entrepreneurs to test ideas and see if the community would be open to supporting their business. The project started in December of 2016 when seven businesses rented garden sheds and created fun storefronts as part of Cozy Cabin Christmas. On Hand Development was asked to do it again in July for the kick off of Crazy Days. The businesses were so well received that several have gotten their tax license and formed official businesses, including:

#1 Crafty Cousins, selling -

  • Signs and refurbished furniture
  • Group painting classes
  • Bath salts, bath bombs, and hand-made soaps

#2 The Cookie Lady, selling -

  • Cookies
  • Baked goods

#3 Festive photo booth

  • 7th grade girl set up a fun photo booth with props
  • She has been hired at reunions, weddings, birthdays and other events

What’s the Big Idea?

To further promote youth participation in our community, On Hand Development Corporation runs the “What’s the Big Idea” contest on an annual basis. This is an entrepreneurship competition for Middle and High School kids. First place winners receive $500 in prize money from On Hand Development.

Previous winners of the “What’s the BIG Idea” competition have included Clayton Keck, a feed pellet manufacturer, and Ellen Schlechter for the calving book app she created.  This project went on to win the Governor’s Giant Vision Award in 2017.  The most recent winner was Cynthia Ford with her photo booth project, “Festive Photo”.  She reinvested the money back into her business and purchased a special printer. These winners are fantastic examples of the amazing things youth in Miller are capable of achieving. They truly are, our future leaders.

The Future of Youth Involvement in Miller

In 2017, youth leaders wanted an indoor movie theater. Youth leaders applied for the MPLC umbrella license to show movies inside the high school theater. Students and their families can attend this “pop-up indoor movie theater”, where additional films will be screened in the future.

Youth leaders have also been working with the local Red Cross and Miller Fire Department to install 100 smoke alarms throughout the community. By working with these community organizations, youth leaders are helping families in Miller to stay safe.

Promoting Our Youth

Miller’s youth leaders will be presenting at the Mid-States Conference on April 19th. Their presentation is on youth involvement, where they will be sharing our story with representatives from Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota in Sioux City, Iowa. The presenters include: Cassidy Keck, Camden and Abby Breitling, and Kaden Sievertson. OHD is proud of all our youth leaders and those who have volunteered to represent our community at this conference.

To learn more or to get involved, call the On Hand Development offices.

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