Sunday, September 19, 2004

What's Up?

Long time, no posts here, obviously. I've continued to be very busy at work the last few weeks, and this week things really heated up on the community service front. Throw in the houseboat tour, the early morning visitor, a Mariners game, and a triathlon (trail note to follow), and I've had little energy for posting.

I participated in a leadership program last year sponsored by the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce designed to broaden the leadership base in the local community. Apparently, about 10 years ago people realized that it was the same dozen or so people participating in every community activity, and if they ever wanted to improve their community and still get some sleep, they would need to take steps to find more people to get involved. So this program was created and I participated last year. One day a month, we learned about various aspects of the community (human services, education, government, economic development, the arts) though site visits, expert panels, and discussion, and we developed our community leadership skills by developing a class project. We knew we wanted to impact youth, and so we created a youth leadership program, very similar in scope and content as the one we were participating in. The program kicked off on Wednesday (at my work site), and was pretty successful. Only 8 more sessions to go! My big months are going to be in November (government day; I teach the leadership portion of the class) and March (economic development; I help plan the agenda).

The program was a great way to learn about the city in which I work, but an even better way to meet some terrific people. This week was the perfect example of the connections I've made. Tuesday, I went on a site visit to see one of the programs for which the community council that I sit on has provided funding, and the program director was a friend of mine from AL. On Friday, my office participated in the United Way Day of Caring, and we worked at the Boys and Girls Club, the director of which was also in my class.

There are programs like this in cities and counties across the country; I highly recommend anyone with a hankering to get more involved to find one. (It's also nice to find one that your company sponsors; this is my favorite thing about my job).


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