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      New leadership program to give citizens their 'Masters Degree' in Ottumwa

      A new leadership program will give citizens in Ottumwa their chance to get their ??Master??s Degree?? in all things Wapello County.

      The nine month program is hosted by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, whose mission is to better the community through vitality, health and education. Through this program, the foundation hopes to build a network of better engaged, more informed citizens.

      ??At the end of the day, the hope is, then this group will graduate, and that they??ll go out and volunteer to sit on a board for a non-for-profit,?? Legacy Foundation President R. Bradley Little said. ??That they??ll volunteer to sit on a board for a committee that??s doing something for our community, they may run for office or run for school board, or get engaged, but at a higher level.??

      The program will run from September to June, and each month, the participants will get a chance to focus on one aspect of the community, such as education, media and public relations, social services organizations, amenities and city and county government. They will be able to hear from representatives from those areas, as well as get hands-on experience with area companies and non-for-profit organizations.

      It is for anyone interested in learning how the county and the city work and wants to become more actively involved in the community.

      Little said the foundation has had several calls from people interested in participating, and they hope to get a website up next month. For now, anyone interested in participating can contact the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation at 455-5260.

      The program is not come one, come all ?? it has a 30 person cap.

      The Legacy Foundation is also looking for companies to host visits for the program, or companies interested in having a professional development opportunity for their employees.

      Those interested in being a speaker or lecturer to the program can also contact the foundation.

      The leadership program will be held annually in September.