Juniors Landon Kruer and Drew Juliot have enjoyed the opportunity to further develop their leadership skills and learn about the local business world. The two have nearly completed their semester-long membership in NEXGEN, a youth leadership and civic involvement course sponsored by Leadership Southern Indiana. Next semester, junior Ryley Gunther will participate.
Landon and Drew attended a monthly field trip touring regional businesses, colleges, and historic sites to learn from professional and community leaders. They visited locally owned businesses such as Samtec to learn about the manufacturing industry, arc Construction Management to learn about entrepreneurship, and Schimpff’s Confectionery to learn about a legacy family business.
They also learned about philanthropy and community service, including painting homes at St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities. Landon and Drew will also join the NEXGEN group in volunteering during Metro United Way’s Build-A-Bed Day on Dec. 7, which is the agency’s effort to provide beds to children in need.
Landon said he wanted to take part in the program because he wanted to explore whether a career in business would be a good fit for him. He is glad he did because he not only learned about various types of businesses and from business leaders, which helped him grow as a leader.
“It allowed me to become a better leader and develop my communication skills – and how to communicate with people even if they have different views than me,” he said.
Drew said he enjoyed the opportunity “to learn how to become a future leader in the community,” he said. He especially liked hearing from arc founder Alan Muncy and learning his story.
“This was my favorite because it was inspiring the way he overcame all the obstacles in his life to create a multi-million-dollar company,” Drew said. “From these sessions I have learned how to become a great leader and also how everything in life isn’t going to go your way, and there will be ups and downs.”
Drew said he recommends this year’s sophomores to sign up in the spring for next year’s program.
“It is a great experience where you get to meet many new people and learn new things,” Drew said.
Landon and Drew will graduate on Dec. 13.
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