By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — Leadership Newkirk has served the community for the past few years, educating potential leaders on the functions of the community. Representatives from the program are saddened to announce that the 2020 – 2021 program has been postponed until 2021, for the safety of the students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leadership Newkirk is only one of the most recent Leadership programs to set the date back another year.
“Because of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing requirements, we did not feel it was in the best interest of the class this year, and we’re following suit with other Leadership programs across the state,” said Dawn Brakey, Leadership program chair. “Many Leadership programs in the state have been postponed until next year.”
The program is designed to identify and develop present and future community leaders and the purpose of the program is to bring about unity, connectivity and pride in our community. It is organized through the Main Street Leadership Committee. The program is open to all persons who live in and/or work in Newkirk. The program is divided into eight monthly sessions with individual sessions on city, county, and state government. There are also sessions involving local education and local business and industry.
“The program builds awareness about how the different arms of government work together to connect, due to the resources available to make a positive change in the community,” Brakey said.
Leadership Newkirk Class of 2020 was the first Class to be affected by COVID-19. The class planned to meet for the Tribal Government session March 26, with graduation set for April, but the COVID-19 lockdowns prevented those sessions from occurring. The class eventually met for the Tribal Government session in June, followed by graduation in July.
Leadership Newkirk is still planned for 2021 – 2022, and applications are being accepted through Jan. 15, 2021. The program is seeking applicants who have the potential for great service within the community.
“We’d like to have a good mix of community members, people who are looking to help lead Newkirk,” she said. “The reason we’re forming the class now is so that we can start building the relationships among the participants, even before we officially start the program.”
Enrollment in the class is 10. The cost is $175 and is typically paid by the participant’s place of work. The fee covers a variety of expenses, including transportation, as well as lunch for each session. Business sponsorships are also accepted and available. Applications are available at Newkirk Main Street. For more information, call (580) 362-2377.
Those who graduate the program will have a better understanding of how the community functions, while simultaneously making new friendships.
“For me, leadership is an opportunity to bring people together to share ideas and learn about the resources available to help bring about positive change in our community. In one word, it’s all about connectivity.” Brakey said.