Investing in Youth Important for Future

Written by Doug McKinney, NCRPC Executive Director

Investing in youth is happening all across the region. I salute the efforts in Republic County and Saline County and the youth entrepreneurship programs they are unveiling in late November. Lincoln County has provided some youth leadership training. Many other locations have initiatives to intentionally engage and invest in youth. One recent example I had the opportunity to participate in was the Career Day in Clay County on November 14. It was a huge success.

You never know what is on the mind of a young person—what their hopes and dreams are until they are asked in a small group setting. About a dozen of 300 I talked with had their own business. They all make use of social media to market their services.

Energizing others was a theme of the dialogue with Ed O’Malley of the Kansas Leadership Center at the recent NCRPC and NCKCN bi-annual banquet at Life’s Finer Moments Lodge near Clay Center. The youth at the previously mentioned forums are energized by what they experience and have the opportunity to express.

Teaming with a mentorship group can also energize them. The world we live in is full of successful collaborations that blossom from a single idea being flushed out amongst a few others who help it grow. According to Forbes Magazine, young persons need a safe environment in which they can thrive and fail at attempts to learn and experiment with innovations. Having others alongside them is vital in that realm. Moreover, often we as older adults do not convey the opportunities that can be explored right here in this region given the technologies and technical trainings available.

Please ponder how we can better prepare the next generation for what is around the next corner in life so they can return to help our communities survive and thrive.

This column appeared in the November 2018 NCRPC Newsletter.