Each month, the Lead Ottumwa Leadership Academy spends a day focusing on a different aspect of the community.
Friday was Media Day - which meant participants traveled to the local newspaper, radio station and here to the KTVO bureau in Ottumwa to learn how the local media works and to better understand how to interact with them.
The biggest surprise - it's not as hard as it looks.
"I think most of the people are kind of of reacting that, "gee, that wasn't so bad"," said Russ Sporer, Dean of the Lead Ottumwa Leadership Academy. "I think a lot of people initially have fear until they've gone through it a time or two and I think their comfort zone is certainly better now than it was prior to that, so I don't think there were any big surprises other than some sense of relief of, "oh yeah, I can do this"."
Each of the academy's participants are working on community-based group projects, ranging from food insecurity in the area to bringing businesses downtown. You will see the interviews about those projects on KTVO in the coming weeks.