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Greater Des Moines Partnership Announces Youth Leadership Initiative Class of 2017 - 2018

August 28, 2017

GREATER DES MOINES, IOWA (Aug. 28, 2017) — Greater Des Moines’ Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) is pleased to announce the Class of 2017 – 2018. 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 2017 – 2018 represents 20 public and private schools from across Greater Des Moines (DSM). The 42 students will meet twice monthly beginning Aug. 11, 2017 through May 17, 2018 to explore topics on leadership while learning about the region. Participation in the YLI program is tuition free. The 2017 – 2018 class is as follows:

  • Carmen Almendarez, Roosevelt High School
  • Riley Anderson, Ankeny Centennial High School
  • Raichel Beierle, Johnston High School
  • Kaya Bowlsby, Woodward Granger High School
  • Chloe Buonantony, Southeast Polk High School
  • Fia Critelli, Valley High School
  • Jack Drey, Dowling Catholic High School
  • Maddie Fees, Carlisle High School
  • Ana Grandgeorge, North Polk High School
  • Zach Halter, Dowling Catholic High School
  • Jessica Cruz Hernandez, Hoover High School
  • Bailey Hochstein, Norwalk High School
  • Kade Johnson, Dowling High School
  • Will Keck, Waukee High School
  • Claire Kelly, Waukee High School
  • Aditya Kotla, Urbandale High School
  • Maisie Laughlin, Carlisle High School
  • Jenna Lee-Johnson, Indianola High School
  • Brandon Lehman, Lincoln High School
  • Jax Mahlstadt, Indianola High School
  • Meg Mallapan, Roosevelt High School
  • Jessica McCartan, Dallas Center-Grimes High School
  • Shelby McCasland, Martensdale St. Mary’s High School
  • Aby Mouzakis, Indianola High School
  • Omar Mustafa, Valley High School
  • Josie Noland, Woodward Grand High School/Central Academy
  • Cooper Pierce, Dallas Center-Grimes High School
  • Lily Quade, Norwalk High School
  • Jocelyn Rifas, North High School
  • Amanda Roberts, Johnston High School
  • Ethen Roiland, Hoover High School
  • Cailey Ruble, Roosevelt High School
  • Carter Schmidt, Norwalk High School
  • Chandler Schrock, Southeast Polk High School
  • Alia Smith, Ankeny Centennial High School
  • Dylan Smith, Urbandale High School
  • Alex Tiengkham, East High School
  • Ethan Ung, Johnston High School
  • Flint Vernon, North Polk High School
  • Isaiah Wagner, Southeast Polk High School
  • Nat Worthington, Lincoln High School
  • Drake Hanson, Southeast Polk 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 DSM

For more information, please visit DSMpartnership.com/yli or contact program director Nathan Ritz, at nritz@DSMpartnership.com. Media inquiries should be directed to Kyle Oppenhuizen at (515) 286-4972 or by email at 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 an initiative of The Partnership’s Regional Workforce Development and Education pillar. Now in its 15th year, YLI’s mission is to inspire participants to impact their community through networking, community engagement and continuous leadership development, both personally and professionally. To connect young adults to organizations in the region where they can seek out volunteer opportunities and engage with local leadership. Since its inception, 441 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.