Class XVII Community Projects

From October 2016 – May 2017, LWC Class XVII participants brainstormed, planned, prioritized, and developed strategies to tackle issues they felt were important to Waupaca County and its residents. Following are summaries, in their own words, of their projects and why they chose to work on them as well as links to the videos for each of their presentations.

Volunteer Development

Our team came together because of a shared passion to give back to the communities with which we live in. The foundation of our project came into greater focus for us during our time in Madison where we received affirmation from several sources that there is a shortfall of volunteers within Waupaca County. This really inspired us to dig deeper into not just addressing the symptom but getting to the heart of the problem which we believe starts with educating and integrating youth on the concept of philanthropy.

Our response to the problem was to create a pilot program for a 5th grade class at the New London Elementary School. The overall goal of the pilot program was to have a captive audience of youth to help them to develop a heart for volunteering as a way to fill a volunteer void in Waupaca County long term.  In order to determine success of the pilot program, we prepare a pre and post survey which certain key words and concepts pertaining to volunteering. The results were very encouraging and confirmed that the pilot program was a success in reaching the hearts and minds of our audience and that certain key concepts were retained.

LWC Volunteer Development Project Presentation

Lack of Local Treatment for Drug Addiction

Our team chose the Drug Addiction Awareness topic because we all feel very strongly about what drug addiction is doing to our families, friends and communities.  Drug addiction is no longer just an issue in large cities.  It is a growing epidemic in all areas, including Waupaca County.  As leaders, we feel it is important to increase awareness and provide resources to help address the problem.

We believe that persistence, in making as many people as possible aware of the epidemic, is necessary.  Providing facts, statistics and real life stories tends to capture more attention and attention is what we are striving for.  We believe that the more attention this subject gets, the better the chance of helping to reduce the drug addiction epidemic.  We have provided the facts that we believe are the most influential to both addicts and non addicts.

We want to provide as much knowledge and as many resources as we can to battle this epidemic.  We have researched local facilities and treatment centers and are providing these resources to the public.  Not only for the individuals that have the addiction, but also for their families and the communities in which they live.  We will strive to lead to a less drug addicted population.

LWC Lack of Local Treatment for Drug Addiction Project Presentation

Broadband Development

Our LWC broadband team came together from different backgrounds including business, education, public service, and we all found the lack of adequate internet services in Waupaca County to be a pressing issue. This team undertook various tasks while examining how to proceed; we researched the broadband issue, met with local internet providers, attended UW-Extension’s “Broadband Bootcamp”, and asked local leaders for their opinions on how to best meet the high speed Internet needs of the community.

Ultimately, we partnered with Waupaca County Economic Development Corporation and Waupaca County Planning and Zoning with the help the UW-Extension office and local libraries to conduct a broadband needs assessment survey that began April 1st, 2017 and ended April 30th, 2017. The needs assessment will better position Waupaca County for broadband expansion, public-private partnerships, and aid in applying for future broadband certifications and grants.

LWC Broadband Development Project Presentation

Young Professionals

We as a group collaborated and decided together that there was a lack of young professionals in the County. There was nothing that brought like-minded people together to have experiences with and grow from one another. We also decided, it would be good to have a group that could explore Waupaca County and learn what it has to offer.

We chose this topic because we as a group and individuals wanted to see the different people and experiences Waupaca County has. We wanted to be able to meet people with different professions and learn together and share ideas and collaborate. Living in Waupaca County, we still have not seen all of it or have known about what it can really offer.

The group got together and brain stormed an idea to create a group like neighboring areas had, but only special to Waupaca County. We then decided we wanted to make it Waupaca County and still be able to reach out to surrounding areas. The Group contacted the Waupaca Chamber and discussed possibilities between ourselves. From there we began meeting with the Chamber and started planning an event.

The event was planned and it went very well. There were over 50 people at the event. We discussed names and a future for the group and came up with the name “Rise”. From there we had several more meeting and since then another event and it all went well and now there is a young Professionals group for Waupaca County named “Rise”.

LWC Young Professinals Project Presentation