The Leadership Springfield Academy Class 26 graduated in April. However, the work of that class did not stop at the ceremony.
“Through Leadership Springfield we have learned a lot of the issues that surround our community,” said Samantha Steury of Kickapoo High School. "We know there are bigger issues.”
The Academy class of juniors decided to stay organized after graduation with a new project. They have one goal: to tackle the red flag issue of poverty. The students say they were impacted by the many program days throughout the year, focused on poverty. Through Leadership Springfield, the students realized they can make a difference working together with the many agencies in town. They now want to take those connections and resources and turn them into something positive.
“I think you gain so many valuable things that you can use later on through Leadership Springfield,” said Central High School’s Owen Arnall. “We really do not want those connections to go away. We want to put those connections to good use, fighting issues in our city to make our city a better place.”
The students say they know the issues are bigger than they thought. But that is a challenge they can overcome.
“A lot of us are determined because we have seen poverty firsthand,” We know we can do something about it and a lot of problems we can help."
This effort is in its infancy. Remember, the students just graduated from Leadership Springfield. They recently began brainstorming ideas to move the idea forward with the post-graduation project.
“It’s hard to start something from scratch,” said Arnall. "It’s a lot of work at the beginning, but once we start down the road, people will start joining in once they see the work we are doing."
Class leaders even hope the idea goes beyond Leadership Springfield. They have aspirations of making this effort larger, by including classmates at their own schools in the city.
“I know we have a lot of support,” said Steury. "Once we get the consistency going, it can be a lot more."
These students prove Leadership Springfield is the start of something bigger.