Showing leadership for county

Last October I wrote in this column about the new friends I have made in Leadership Shelby County.

As you may recall, Leadership is a program designed to bring people from across Shelby County together to study the various aspects of life such as government, education and health care.

Since last September, my class has met monthly to study and learn about aspects of our county that we do not normally see in our daily lives. For instance, I spend my days as probate judge in the judicial system; I rarely interact with the teachers and students in the elementary schools.

Understanding all aspects of our county helps me understand and appreciate the people who appear in my court and the joys and problems they bear.

On top of our monthly meetings, my class was divided into three groups and each group has spent the last eight months working on a project that will improve Shelby County.

My group has developed a mental health court for our county. This is a court that has been on the minds of many people in the justice system for many years, but my leadership group has brought the stakeholders together, developed the framework for the court and secured funding so this dream will now become a reality.

I am very proud of the work my group has done and I know the other groups have produced equally important projects. The bottom line is, our class, like the classes that came before us, has not only learned about our county, but it has also developed projects that will improve our county in a very real way. It is exciting to be part of such a vibrant and positive organization.

A new Leadership class will be selected in the next few months. If you have an opportunity to participate, I think you will find it to be a very rewarding experience.

Last October, I wrote that my new leadership friends are bright lights of joy to me. Today, they burn brighter than ever and I am proud to be associated with each of them.