Taylor Pounds, HRC’s design department manager, has been named co-chair of the Youth Leadership Douglas County (YLDC) class of 2019 – 2020. He was tapped for the position by the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce following his graduation from the 10-month Leadership Douglas program earlier in 2019.

YLDC is a program for students. Fifty high schoolers are accepted for either the fall or spring program to learn more about their community and develop their leadership potential. For one full day each month, the students participate in activities including ropes courses, law enforcement training, interviewing with members of the media and visiting local legislators and county commissioners.

“Our first get together was a day retreat where the students participated in team building exercises led by AmeriCorps volunteers from the Youth Villages of Inner Harbor campus and the YLD chairs. It was amazing to see a group of strangers at the beginning of the day leave as friends. The smiles and laughter throughout the day that we see is what this program is all about.” The students were also made aware of the standards, expectations, and graduation requirements.

The next session for the fall class was public service day. “We were given behind the scenes access of the county jail and local fire station. The interaction and information that was provided by our local law enforcement and firefighters was invaluable and helped us all realize how fortunate we are to have them and their resources in Douglas County,” said Taylor.

Taylor described his mission as program co-chair: “I want to put YLDC participants in scenarios that challenge their beliefs and help them think outside the box.”

YLDC is modeled off of Leadership Douglas, a program for professionals in business, government and other sectors. Participants benefit from getting to know one another and through exchange of ideas and experiences. They gain knowledge and understanding on issues facing the community, and also attain leadership skills.

“I look forward to applying what I learned in Leadership Douglas to make an impact on youth in Douglas County,” said Taylor. “My co-chair and I strive to instill a passion for active community involvement among the high-school students in the 2019 and 2010 classes.”