Eight local youth along with their families and friends celebrated their recent accomplishment of completing Pulaski County Youth EXCEL Leadership training at Price Cutter Restaurant on Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m.


Eight local youth along with their families and friends celebrated their recent accomplishment of completing Pulaski County Youth EXCEL Leadership training at Price Cutter Restaurant on Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m.
Youth EXCEL offers teens an opportunity to learn about community service, how to write their own mission statement, experience a University Campus and were challenged to ask themselves how they can positively impact their community.
Sponsored by the University of Missouri Extension and Pulaski County 4-H; Youth EXCEL (EXperience in Community Enterprise and Leadership) focuses on offering youth specific challenges to help build confidence, teamwork, and a sense of accomplishment and community; all the while helping youth identify leadership qualities within themselves.
Beginning with a day-long retreat on Oct. 16, Pulaski County Youth EXCEL participants gathered with other Youth EXCEL participants from Laclede and Camden counties at Windermere to climb rock walls, swing from high ropes and fly down the zip-line.
These teens learned the importance of teamwork as they balanced as a group on a giant teeter-totter, learned how to help their friends overcome specific fears like heights, how to trust in others to keep you upright on the rock wall and learned it takes teamwork to help cross a chocolate river.
Their next session gave them an opportunity to learn about Pulaski County history, attend a County Commissioner meeting and a tour of the County Courthouse where they visited with elected and appointed officials to see how county government works.
They also spent time in the courtroom hearing a criminal case and observing the justice system.
On their last, day-long session they loaded up on a bus at 7 a.m. to travel to the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Their visit started with a guided tour of campus that ended with lunch at the famous Shakespeare's Pizza. In the afternoon the participants were given the opportunity to choose from several schools to visit. Their choices were the School of Agriculture, the School of Theater Arts, the Engineering School and the Nursing school.
Finally, a visit to the book store and a stop at the Athletics department found these youth at the end of an educational and fun-filled day.
Congratulations to these Pulaski County youth as they graduate Youth EXCEL and take the leadership and community service skills learned back into their community!
If you would like to know how you can help youth grow into successful young adults or would like to know more about programs offered through the University of Missouri Extension and 4-H Youth Development, call 573 774-6177.