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May 14, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For May 14

A call to leadership from LSI grad

 

Leadership Southern Indiana’s Discover Program graduated its 31st class Thursday. Each year, the class selects a class representative to speak on their behalf at graduation. I would like to share this year’s speech from Mr. Trey Lewis, director of Career Development Center at Indiana University Southeast, as he challenges his class to engage:

“At this point, we find ourselves at a leadership crossroads where we are confronted with an individual choice. A choice to keep the cultural knowledge in between our two ears thus minimizing its impact or do we make purposeful decisions about our engagement as leaders in this community. For me, my personal choice comes down to the value of stewardship and community sustainability. Let me explain. 

Having been a part of such a tremendous opportunity such as this, we have gained access to some keen insights from several key stakeholders in our community thereby making informed citizens and potential leaders. As stewards of this information, I would go so far as to say that we have not only an opportunity but a responsibility to pay it forward through our engagement in the community.

One of the key indicators of success with any organization and community is its ability to develop a pipeline of future leaders. This practice ensures sustainability and I know that we are all glad that I belong to a community that not only believes in but invests in this practice. This is the lifeblood of building and sustaining our communities.

Let me acknowledge that we as a class may have heard before what I’m saying here tonight but let’s put our feet on practical ground and talk about why our engagement is so critical. When we look at our community needs ... needs that focus on positively impacting unemployment trends, economic development, educational attainment, and the ever-increasing socio-economic divide, shouldn’t we agree that sustained leadership engagement in this community is vital? I believe this to be true and I know that I stand with a cohort that also believes this.

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