By Kyle Siegel
In the coming school year, Sedalia Mayor Elaine Horn will undertake an effort to get youth involved with the community while learning leadership skills that will serve them well in life.
Mayor Horn plans on doing this by the formation of the Mayor’s Junior Civic Leaders Group.
The purpose of the group will be to promote youth involvement in governmental affairs, and to advise the mayor and council in education, cultural development, leisure activities, social concerns and any other issues requested by the mayor and council members.
The Mayor’s Junior Civic Leaders Group’s mission is to explore, communicate and provide for the needs, problems, issues and activities affecting the youth of Sedalia.
The News-Journal had a chance to speak with Horn about the new group, and when she made the decision that this was something she would like to pursue.
“I have had the chance to get more involved with the youth of our community, whether it has been through the JROTC program, or when Mr. Schilb has me come in with his classes when they study government.
“I was in the Chamber’s leadership classes last year. They have an adult leadership track and a youth leadership track.
“They combined them and we worked together,” Horn explained.
Horn added, “It kind of opened my eyes to the fact that we have a lot of incredibly talented youth in our community. They are knowledgeable, smart, and funny.
“When we went through the leadership classes, the students were able to get involved and create change.”
Horn was asked what kind of change came from those leadership classes.
“Our project was to create historical signs for buildings downtown, and in doing that they had to go to planning and zoning and the CBCD, and get them to help change our ordinances.
“They had to go through that process, and that involved getting in touch with all of these groups to be able to put up the signs recognizing the historical buildings.
“After we completed the project, that got me thinking of ways to get our youth more involved in our community,” Horn explained.
She added, “From there I decided to create a Mayor’s Junior Civic Leaders Group. That gives them a chance to see how they can be effective members of this community, or whatever community they call home in the future.”
Each year, the group will be responsible for designing and implementing a service project that will directly impact the community. The size and scope of the volunteer service project will be the choice of the Mayor’s Junior Civic Leaders Group.
Currently the Mayor’s Junior Civic Leaders Group will consist of five high school students, but Mayor Horn would like to see that number somewhere between 18 and 20 students in the future.
The initial group of students will consist of senior Jovana Cervantes, junior Michaela Pomajzl, junior Abby Monsees, senior Hannah Ott and sophomore Alexia Goodson.
Horn was asked if the group has a meeting schedule set up yet for the new school year.
“We are working at setting a meeting schedule with the new school year, so we can see what days and times they can do. We are in that process. I look forward to working with them.” Photo by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.