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Leadership Kearney (LK) was born as a hybrid of other existing leadership programs, coupled with the unique needs of Kearney, Nebraska. The first LK class was selected in September 1991 from a large field of applications and the program was off to a very successful inaugural year. Recognizing a need to create a mirror program for youth leaders in our community, Youth Leadership Kearney was formed in 1994.
LK is an organization created to identify, educate, and nurture potential, emerging, and existing leaders who are committed to improving the quality of life in Kearney and the surrounding communities. The program gives participants a behind-the-scenes look at local businesses and institutions, as well as opportunities to personally interact with current community and state leaders.
The classes meet on the second Wednesday of each month for a day-long session. Each session focuses on different aspects that contribute to the success of the Kearney Community.
These sessions include tours, panel discussions and presentations in the areas of agriculture, state and local government, education, arts and recreation, health and human services, and local business and industry. Tour highlights from past years include local hospitals, schools, sneak peeks at new businesses, behind-the-scenes tours of long-time manufacturing facilities, Buffalo County Courthouse and detention center, as well as the State Capital and Penitentiary.
Along with the tours, participants have opportunities to meet and interact with state and local leaders including state senators, the mayor, city council members, Kearney police chief, Buffalo County Sheriff, and many business and education leaders.
Both the Youth and Adult programs give back to the community as part of the program requirements. Service projects are selected by each class every year. Past projects include food drives, the building educational platform at Rowe Sanctuary, assisting with Senior Prom at the Senior Center, family fun day, caroling at nursing homes and various community beautification projects.
The Adult LK Program is a two-year program. During the first year, participants actively participate in each of the monthly sessions. During the second year of the program, participants plan and develop each of the sessions for the next class. At the completion of the second year, those who have fulfilled the requirements of the program participate in a graduation ceremony where they receive certificates of completion. Youth Leadership Kearney is a one-year program, with youth participating during their junior year of high school.
Anyone who hopes to gain insight to the community, develop leadership skills, and network with other business professionals in the community should apply for the program. It is a great way to become a better steward of your community and boost yourself professionally. Anyone interested in learning more about LK can visit leadershipkearney.com or join the group on Facebook. Be sure to check out similar programs in other central Nebraska communities.
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