Jason Davis Graduates from Leadership Overland ParkPosted on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 by Peggy Amor
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Jason Davis is graduating from Leadership Overland Park tomorrow. Hosted by the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, it is an annual program designed to provide a source of motivated leaders. It offers information about the community and its issues, along with leadership training.
Over the years, we’ve had a number of co-workers participate in the program. Many have shared their takeaways with us, so today, we asked Jason for his.
Which key insights/takeaways did you learn from the program?
Overland Park is a great city, but it still faces some of same challenges as other communities. It needs leaders just as much as it did when it was founded – maybe even more now. The founding fathers had a blank slate to start from, whereas our leadership is guiding a full, mature city, which comes with its own set of issues and problems.
The principles the city was founded on are solid: safety, excellent education, quality infrastructure and funding provided primarily through sales tax versus property tax. The Overland Park Chamber of Commerce is a strong partner for continued success of the city. City leadership should continue to look to the Chamber when facing difficult decisions.
How have these lessons impacted you?
After completing the program, my eyes have been opened significantly. I have better insight on where the city’s needs are and how I can help.
What didn’t you know that surprised you?
The quote that stuck in my head throughout the program was in the Health and Social Issues session where poverty in Johnson County was discussed. A woman stated the hardest thing about being poor in Johnson County is you must hide it. This stood out to me since a person that needs help in one of the most affluent counties in the state is afraid to ask for it, because of the disconnect of the community with those in need (generally people are unaware of poverty in Johnson County).
What was your class project?
We completed a project for Growing Futures Early Education Center, which is a not-for-profit organization providing quality early education opportunities and family support services for children in Johnson County. Our class built sandboxes/sandbox lids; rehabbed raised garden beds; completed landscape work, including the removal of unwanted vegetation with new plantings; and repaired a storage shed. The project provided a new play area for the children, as well as areas to learn about growing vegetables. It was rewarding to see my skills put to good use. It did put a smile on my face to see the children having a blast playing in their new sandboxes.