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Congratulations to the Youth Leadership Initiative Class of 2015

May 27, 2015

A total of 39 students from 18 area high schools graduated from the 2015 Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI). The ceremony was held at the Des Moines Art Center on Tuesday, May 26. Students gave final presentations on their small group service projects, which they had to plan, organize, execute and manage a budget. In addition, the following people and organizations received awards: 

  • Morgan Stutzman of Johnston High School won the YLI Outstanding Youth Award
  • Iowa Safe Schools won the YLI Community Partner Award
  • Zach Walker won the Mentor of the Year Award
  • David Schmitz won the YLI Impact Award

YLI introduces, develops and fosters leadership skills among youth in Greater Des Moines (DSM) by providing experiential mentoring and leadership experiences that enhance self-esteem and encourage involvement in all levels of community life.

YLI is a program of the Greater Des Moines Partnership under its Regional Workforce Development and Education pillar of work. Since its inception in 2001, 420 students have graduated from the program. 

The 2015 YLI Class

Tommy Anderson — West Des Moines Valley

Taylor Baber — Carlisle

Nicole Baily — Hoover

Dylan Boles — Van Meter

Levon Bottley — West Des Moines Valley

Nolan Bulver — Southeast Polk

Kate Carico — Johnston

Griffin Clabaugh — Urbandale

Margarita Clemente — North

Katie Coleman — Dowling Catholic 

Megan Eischeid — Dallas Center-Grimes

Olive Elwell — Roosevelt

Jack Fink — Dowling Catholic

Charlie Flippen — Roosevelt

Tyler Hirl — Norwalk

Dody Kim — Dallas Center-Grimes

Evan Konrad — Roosevelt

Anne Krone — Johnston

Ian Ksiazak — West Des Moines Valley

Garrison McFarlan — Iowa Christian Academy

Katie Meinecke — Norwalk

Carter Mills — WDM Valley

Sara Mulder — East

Ben Nelson — Dowling Catholic

Daniel Nielsen — Dowling Catholic

Zach Owens — Ankeny Centennial

Alex Peralta — Waukee  

Natalie Perez — Carlisle

Lucas Phillips — Urbandale

Adam Rose — Waukee

Missy Rovner — Southeast Polk

Sarah Sjurson — Waukee

Morgan Stutzman — Johnston

Katelyn Thomas — Southeast Polk

Leslie Tiengkham — East

Cody Veach — Iowa Christian Academy

Sreeja Vepa — Urbandale

Kendra Wickre — Saydel High School

Trent Wignall — Johnston

?For more information, please visit DSMpartnership.com/education or contact program director, Nathan Ritz, at (515) 286-4937 or nritz@DSMpartnership.com.  Media inquiries should be directed to Kyle Oppenhuizen at (515) 286-4972 or koppenhuizen@DSMpartnership.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 now a program of the Partnership’s Regional Workforce Development and Education initiative.  Now in its 14th year, YLI’s mission is to help local youth see a community that is welcoming, nurturing, and vital which provides ample opportunity for participation in meaningful community change, networking, and individual growth.  Since its inception, more than 420 students have successfully graduated from the program. For more information on the program, visit DSMpartnership.com/education.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 320 Investors, 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, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.