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Posted July 12, 2016 in Community Featured, Community Blogs, In Living, Web Exclusives

GREATER DES MOINES, IOWA – Greater Des Moines’ Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) is pleased to announce the Class of 2016 – 2017. YLI, an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, provides sophomore or junior high school students with mentoring and leadership experiences that enhance self-esteem and encourage involvement in all levels of community life.

 The YLI Class of 2016 – 2017 represents 22 public, private and home schools from across Central Iowa. The 42 students will meet twice monthly beginning August 12, 2016 through May 18, 2017 to explore topics on leadership while learning about the Greater Des Moines region. Participation in the YLI program is tuition free. Nelson Construction & Development is sponsoring the program for 2016 – 2017. The 2016 – 2017 class is as follows:

·         Antonio Angel, Van Meter High School

·         Jacob Barr, North Polk High School

·         Sean Boles, Van Meter High School

·         Nate Ramirez, Carlisle High School

·         Marcus Chew, Valley High School

·         Peyton Chilton, Waukee High School

·         Breton Clark, Valley High School

·         Sophia David, Woodward-Granger High School

·         Josiah De Valois, North Polk High School

·         Arleth DeAvila, Lincoln High School

·         Natalie Elizalde, Ankeny Centennial High School

·         Caroline Fink, Dowling Catholic High School

·         Nolan Grimes, Dallas Center-Grimes High School

·         Kallie Hirl, Norwalk High School

·         Chase Johnston, East High School

·         Tyler Juffernbruch, Indianola High School

·         Omer Kantarevic, Johnston High School

·         Jason Koromo, Hoover High School

·         Joshua Lawless, Carlisle High School

·         Drake Leek, Norwalk High School

·         George Long, Dowling Catholic High School

·         Achol Makuet, Roosevelt High School

·         John Martin Jr., Hoover High School

·         Katie Michalski, Johnston High School

·         Jacob Mulcahy, Ankeny High School

·         Megan Nelson, Valley High School

·         Robert Nishimwe, North High School

·         Delefine Niyigena, North High School

·         Katie Reeder, Johnston High School

·         Valerie Rike, Homeschool – West Des Moines HSAP

·         Jackson Rutto, Urbandale High School

·         Brooke Seller, Dallas Center-Grimes High School

·         Shantelia Shook, Lincoln High School

·         Timaris Shumpert, East High School

·         Chaimae Sibouih, Roosevelt High School

·         Marissa Vandermark, Waukee High School

·         Varun Vepa, Urbandale High School

·         Claire Ward, Southeast Polk High School

·         Roan Wilhelm, Ankeny Centennial High School

·         Connor Willeford, Southeast Polk High School

·         Nicholas Worthington, Lincoln High School

·         Sankalp Yamsani, Waukee High School

The goals of the YLI program are:

·         Empowering youth to connect, participate in change and create their ideal community.

·         Encouraging youth to become active participants in their community.

·         Engaging youth in opportunities to invest their futures in the Greater Des Moines area.

 For more information, please visit DesMoinesMetro.com/Education or contact program director Nathan Ritz, at nritz@desmoinesmetro.com. Media inquiries should be directed to Sophia S. Ahmad at (515) 286-4919 or by email at sahmad@desmoinesmetro.com.

About the Youth Leadership Initiative

YLI began as a project of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute’s Community Leadership class of 2001-2002. It is an initiative of The Partnership’s Regional Workforce Development and Education pillar. Now in its 14th year, YLI’s mission is to provide ample opportunity for youth to participate in meaningful community change, to network and to grow as individuals. The YLI leadership development program helps youth learn the skills necessary to create a community where they want to invest their futures. YLI develops committed leaders by encouraging community participation. Since its inception, 420 students have successfully graduated from the program.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Central Iowa. Together with 22 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce and 5,800 regional business members, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, creates jobs and promotes Greater Des Moines as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Visit DesMoinesMetro.com for more information.

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