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Congratulations To The Youth Leadership Initiative Class Of 2016

May 31, 2016

A total of 37 students from 19 area high schools graduated in the 2016 Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) class. YLI introduces, develops and fosters leadership among high school sophomores and juniors in Greater Des Moines (DSM) through experiential mentoring and leadership opportunities that enhance self-esteem and encourage involvement in all levels of community life. YLI is an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

The following people and organizations were awarded as part of the graduation of the Class of 2016:

  • YLI Community Partner Award: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Mentor of the Year Award: Shaun Boyle of Wells Fargo
  • YLI Outstanding Youth Award: Nick Miller, North Polk High School and Gabe Candee, Carlisle High School

The full 2016 YLI Graduating Class is as follows:

  • Riley Backus, Saydel High School
  • Taylor Bacon, Ankeny High School
  • Nick Battles, Indianola High School
  • Cody Boozell, Saydel High School
  • Gabe Candee, Carlisle High School
  • Ashley Clausen, Johnston High School
  • Cory Critchlow, Carlisle High School
  • Savannah David, Woodward-Granger High School
  • Nyakota Ding, Hoover High School
  • CJ Dobbins, Southeast Polk High School
  • Averi Dyer, East High School
  • Ean Followwill, Dallas Center-Grimes High School
  • Thomas Gould, Valley High School
  • Kati Heller, Urbandale High School
  • Ross Hingst, Waukee High School
  • Brad Holland, Dowling Catholic High School
  • Graysen Jennings, Ankeny Centennial High School
  • Jack Johnson, West Des Moines Homeschool Assist Program
  • Jared Johnson, Waukee High School
  • Max Kietzman, Southeast Polk High School
  • Emma Ksiazak, Valley High School
  • Nic Lane, North High School
  • Jess Lentzkow, North High School
  • Frank Li, Waukee High School
  • Kitarrah Mangra-Dutcher, Johnston High School
  • Nick Miller, North Polk High School
  • Luke Mohan, Dowling Catholic High School
  • Mallory Murphy, Norwalk High School
  • Nathan Nelson, Waukee High School
  • Preston Peddicord, Johnston High School
  • Colin Pranger, Johnston High School
  • Breazi Preston, Hoover High School
  • Darien Rouse, Ankeny Centennial High School
  • Skyler Shellmyer, Urbandale High School
  • Jessica Studer, Valley High School
  • Alex Thompson, Dallas Center-Grimes High School
  • Kyndal Williams, Roosevelt High School

Since its inception in 2001, 457 students have graduated from the program. For more information, visit DSMpartnership.com/Education.

Media inquiries should be directed to Sophia S. Ahmad at sahmad@DSMpartnership.com or (515) 286-4919.


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 an initiative of The Partnership’s Regional Workforce Development and Education work. Now in its 15th 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 450 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 Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 330 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.