I felt honored last month to be recognized along with many others as a Brevard County “Emerging Leader” under the age of 40. Leadership Brevard sponsored the awards, organizing and throwing a great banquet complete with videographies and an improv comedy troupe. It was neat to look around the room and celebrate the accomplishments and potential of so many younger persons, both teenagers and adults.
I certainly appreciated the persons who chose to pay $50 per ticket to come out and be part of a very special night. It really gave me a sense that the larger community does value its emerging civic nucleus, that it wants to encourage the younger crowd to stick around, plant some roots here and make a difference with a long-view perspective.
That long perspective certainly characterizes how I am trying to serve the Brevard community as a businessperson, speaker, writer and volunteer. I want to see our quality of life persevere, for people of all ages and backgrounds.
My dream is to see a vast wellspring of like-minded persons rising to the forefront of leadership in Brevard, to see a hunger for helping each other thrive, getting beyond the context of just our personal ambitions and realizing that our individual success greatly depends on the success of one another.
Recently Brevard Tomorrow (an offshoot of Leadership Brevard) launched YP, a “Young Professionals” network, organizing monthly social events in order to get more persons under 40 connected and building quality relationships. The hope is that we will stick around because of the relationships, and that we naturally will motivate each other to become more involved in the larger community. We’ve gathered twice during the past two months at different restaurants, about 75 persons strong, and we’ve had a blast. For me it has added great balance to my life.
We need to be around our peers—that has not changed since we were small children. We can’t just work all the time. We can’t just spend all of our time with our families and spouses. People need a peer group, if for any reason just to be heard by someone else who understands. It helps our perspectives grow. It helps iron to sharpen iron. And it gives life a needed bounce.
If you are a younger adult in Brevard County, I encourage you to get out of your zone and taste more of the community around you. We need you as a friend, as an emerging leader, as a community servant. We can help you thrive.
Brevard has so much to offer, but it will only evolve into the kind of society that we decide to form. We can’t expect our elders to forge this community for us in perpetuity—the torch is being passed to a new series of generations. Will you receive it?
Visit Leadership Brevard’s Site at www.leadershipbrevard.org
Also read, the January article, The Long View, by Eric Needle
What has your work-life “experience” been in Brevard County? Brevard Tomorrow, a program of Leadership Brevard in conjunction with our partner, Brevard Workforce Development Board, invites you to complete a short survey to learn more about your needs as a young professional in our community. Visit www.brevardtomorrow.com and take the survey.