Week One: Exciting Summer Ahead

Hello, hi, how are ya!

My name is Sam Lechner, and I am going to be spending this summer as a fellow for the Columbus Foundation working with the nonprofit organization LeaderSpark. LeaderSpark is an incredible organization lead by one of the most compassionate and inspiring women I have ever met, Kay Wilson, and it focuses on providing Columbus City Youth with the leadership skills and opportunities that they need to grow and give back to their communities. As a rising senior at Ohio State studying Public Affairs & Strategic Communication and minoring in Leadership Studies, I honestly don’t think there could possible be a better place for me this summer.

The first week was…. crazy. LeaderSpark is currently partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Columbus to put on the Achieve Summer Work Program– which helps youth ages 14-17 who attend Columbus City Schools to obtain work over the summer (and they make $10/hour through the program which is WAY more than I made scooping ice cream at my first summer job… but I’m not salty!). It’s a really amazing program, and it’s going to help a lot of teens get a solid start on career development. It’s also a heck of a lot of work to set up, so most of my first week was spent back and forth between the LeaderSpark office (The Hub) and the J. Ashburn Youth Center, where the B&G Club is located. By Friday, though, we had gotten all of the kinks worked out and got 100 Columbus City Youth a solid summer work plan, so you could call that a pretty good start to the summer.

Even after just one week with this organization, I’m leaving inspired. And I’m writing this post on Monday morning of week two (which is slightly late only because of who I am as a person, honestly), and I’m sitting next to my really awesome boss (his name is Solomon & he is just as wonderful as Kay), and I can’t wait to see what comes next. I have a pretty good feeling this summer is going to be quite the whirlwind, so I am excited to keep y’all updated (why did I just say y’all, I’m from northeast Ohio??).


Sam 🙂

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