Catch Up With Chuck Episode 15 Building a Thriving Rural Community with Harry Knobbe

 

Feb. 22, 2018

Joining Chuck in this week’s episode of Catch Up With Chuck is rural entrepreneur Harry Knobbe. He is dedicated to the success of his rural community in West Point, Neb. and believes in investing in the future of its leadership and community development.

Knobbe has dedicated more than 50 years to the cattle-feeding industry. A few years after moving onto his farm in 1960, he started Knobbe Commodities, a successful business that now includes six commodities brokers. He believes in the importance of investing in the future of rural leadership and entrepreneurship to help a community thrive.

His participation and leadership, however, extends further than the cattle-feeding industry. His volunteer spirit also can be found in many areas of community involvement. Knobbe is involved in numerous organizations, ranging from agriculture-related groups such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to community economic development groups like Partners in Progress.

 

“What you’re doing here is going to help a lot of communities… but, at the same time, it doesn’t happen overnight.”

-Harry Knobbe

 

Knobbe shares RFI’s belief in people’s capacity to shape their own futures. He agrees that a thriving rural community is a hopeful vision backed by grit, and his hope has always persisted in the face of adversity or challenges.

***

Catch Up With Chuck is Facebook Live series with Rural Futures Institute Founding Executive Director Chuck Schroeder. Airing most Thursdays at 11:15 a.m. (CST) on RFI’s Facebook Page, Chuck uses this time to discuss critical rural topics and the latest about RFI while answering viewers’ questions. Stay in touch with Catch Up With Chuck and the Rural Futures Institute through Facebook and Twitter. We will be back soon with another episode looking at rural people and places, success stories, innovators, thinkers and doers who are making rural communities a legitimate best choice for worthwhile living.

 

Announcement: Proposed RFI Budget Reduction

 

FROM | Chuck Schroeder, RFI Founding Executive Director & Connie Reimers-Hild, RFI Associate Executive Director & Chief Futurist

 

As many of our colleagues, advocates, supporters and friends continue to inquire into the recently proposed deep budget cut to our Institute, here are a few details of our thought process to this point.

The University of Nebraska (NU) has faced and is currently facing significant reductions in state funding.

The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) absorbed a $500 thousand budget cut in November, contributing to the initial NU budget reduction of $30 million. At that time we discontinued the RFI Competitive Awards program, which has funded 50 research and teaching projects to this point. These projects have led to numerous ongoing and expanding partnerships, programs and events across our state, the four NU campuses and beyond. RFI has also been on a hiring freeze since November 2016 and was reduced by one full-time position last fall.

The now proposed additional $1 million reduction of our remaining budget will have a tremendous effect on our reach, impact and staff positions. We want to emphasize here that this reduction is proposed, not imminent; however, we must be responsible and prepare accordingly.

  • To our 26 RFI Student Serviceship interns and 11 communities planning on an experience this summer, our goal is to still offer the training session May 14 – May 18, 2018, as well as guidance and support to you through the end of this fiscal year, which is June 30, 2018.
  • The inaugural class of RFI Fellows will remain in place through June 30, 2018, as planned, but we will not be pursuing a second class until our budget is explicitly defined.

If you know us at all, you know we are full of bold ideas. We are full of energy. We are full of hopeful grit.

And we know that thriving rural communities are critical to our state, to our country and to the world. We find ourselves—like many communities, leaders and entrepreneurs—at a crossroads. We are at a moment in time when we can choose how to approach our desired future and work strategically toward it.

We are focused on a future with measurable impact for communities of place and practice as well as a sustainable business model for our Institute, so we can thrive along with our partners. We will share details of our evolution as appropriate throughout the coming months.

If you are so inclined, you may share your support for RFI with your Nebraska state senator and via your social media channels. You may also give to RFI via the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Catch Up With Chuck Episode 13 The Future of Rural Leadership with Matthew and Joseph Brugger

 

Feb. 8, 2018

Joining Chuck in this week’s episode of Catch Up With Chuck are Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program students Matthew and Joseph Brugger who are passionate about their rural hometown of Albion, Nebraska. They plan to bring their commitment, mentorship and business back to their rural community after graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Coming from a farming background in a small rural community, Matthew and Joseph developed a responsible work ethic very early on in their childhood. They specifically noted their mother’s mindful practices that taught them the value of being present and living in the moment.

Albion’s education system empowered the brothers to reach their full potential by giving them space and tools to learn, lead and be creative and innovative. The support from their community led them to see the opportunities in the world to build their future in the way that they wanted, and it ultimately influenced their decision to want to go back to the community after they graduate. RFI believes that people have the capacity to shape their own futures.

“Engler puts the tools in our toolbox to be able to control our own destiny.”

-Joseph Brugger

 

The transition from their hometown of Albion to the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln made sense for Matthew and Joseph. RFI believes that entrepreneurs are individuals and communities that combine strategic foresight and grit to take action to reach their desired futures. Their business, Upstream Farms and Enterprises, is a fourth generation farm that provides integrated solutions for producers and healthy food options for families, while building rural communities.

The brothers believe that economic development and community development in rural communities are complexly linked. Through building their business, they have become a “backbone”  to inspire the next generation of rural leaders in their community. They believe that empowering youth to take ownership of their future allows them to find their home in their community to which they will want to return.

 

“If you want to be successful as a rural community, you have to be able to pass on the torch to the younger generation, believe in them, and take a risk in them.”

-Matthew Brugger

 

Matthew and Joseph believe that it is important for young people to know that they can make an impact in their community and a difference in the world. They also shared how older generations can empower the youth in their community to develop their future. They believe that youth empowerment in this way will lead to more and more young people wanting to return to their rural communities.

***

Catch Up With Chuck is Facebook Live series with Rural Futures Institute Founding Executive Director Chuck Schroeder. Airing most Thursdays at 11:15 a.m. (CST) on RFI’s Facebook Page, Chuck uses this time to discuss critical rural topics and the latest about RFI while answering viewers’ questions. Stay in touch with Catch Up With Chuck and the Rural Futures Institute through Facebook and Twitter. We will be back soon with another episode looking at rural people and places, success stories, innovators, thinkers and doers who are making rural communities a legitimate best choice for worthwhile living.

 

Catch Up With Chuck Episode 12 Diversity in Rural Communities with RFI Fellow Athena Ramos, Ph.D.

 

Feb. 1, 2018

Joining Chuck in this week’s episode of Catch Up With Chuck is RFI Faculty Fellow Athena Ramos, Ph.D. of the UNMC College of Public Health Center for Reducing Health Disparities, whose work focuses on health and wellness factors of immigrant populations, often in rural settings, but not exclusively.

Ramos served as the principle investigator on two RFI-funded research projects in 2016 and 2017. The first project, “Understanding Hispanics and Sense of Community”, was conducted in two Nebraska counties to better understand the assets and challenges associated with being Hispanic in rural Nebraska. This project explored immigrants’ sense of community, life satisfaction and types of participation in community life.

The second project, “Rural Narratives on Welcoming Communities”, used appreciative inquiry to interview community leaders about creating welcoming communities and worked with partners to develop powerful narratives, provide access to resources and disseminate best practices.

Between 2010 and 2015, there was tremendous growth of the Latino population in the United States. Nebraska alone gained 18,863 new Hispanic residents in that timeframe. Both projects focus on how to better integrate and engage these immigrant newcomers in community life.

Bringing people together despite their differences is important to Ramos. She believes in the power of community and the importance of engaging community partners in her research. The “Rural Narratives on Welcoming Communities” research project has partnered with Heartland Workers Center, Comite Latino de Schuyler, Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Nebraska Power District. RFI also believes that communities are not just localities, but also networked groups of individuals working together toward a common goal and shared purpose.

Disseminating the findings of her research in creative and effective ways is also important to Ramos. Besides writing a journal paper, her team also wrote a community report and one page fact sheets in both English and Spanish. She believes in helping the community understand the project and its results, as well as with being transparent and sharing data with her partners from the research projects.

 

“The end goal for me and most researchers who are involved at the University is we want our research to be meaningful, to be relevant, and to be useful … I really believe that I can make a difference, so that is what I really try to do.”

-Athena Ramos, Ph.D.

 

Ramos was chosen as an RFI Faculty Fellow because of her understanding of the relationships between the University and the community. She knows how the University can resonate and should create impact with rural communities throughout the state.

***

Catch Up With Chuck is Facebook Live series with Rural Futures Institute Founding Executive Director Chuck Schroeder. Airing most Thursdays at 11:15 a.m. (CST) on RFI’s Facebook Page, Chuck uses this time to discuss critical rural topics and the latest about RFI while answering viewers’ questions. Stay in touch with Catch Up With Chuck and the Rural Futures Institute through Facebook and Twitter. We will be back soon with another episode looking at rural people and places, success stories, innovators, thinkers and doers who are making rural communities a legitimate best choice for worthwhile living.

 

Catch Up With Chuck Episode 11 Building Hope in Native Communities with Judi Gaiashkibos

 

Jan. 25, 2018

Joining Chuck in this week’s episode of Catch Up With Chuck is the Executive Director of the Nebraskan Commission on Indian Affairs, Judi Gaiashkibos, who is a leader on Native issues. She is an enrolled member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, and she serves as a board member of the Nebraska Rural Development Commission.

Leadership is important to Gaiashkibos, who descends from a legacy of leaders, including Ponca Chief Smoke Maker. RFI believes that leaders are known by their vision, ideas, energy, passion and engagement in collective action, and Gaiashkibos is no exception.

Since 1995, Gaiaishkibos has been providing a voice for her people through the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs. The commission’s motto is: “to join representatives of all Indians in Nebraska to do all things which it may determine to enhance the case of Indian Rights and to develop solutions to the problems common to all Nebraska Indians.”

Gaiashkibos discussed the history of the native people of Nebraska and emphasized the importance of forward-thinking leadership, diversified economies and pride of place. She told the stories of successful leaders who helped build community, economic diversity and representation for Native people.

Recently the commission worked with members of the state government to leave a footprint of Native presence on Centennial Mall in Lincoln, Neb. through a statue honoring Ponca Chief Standing Bear. Chief Standing Bear protested the federal government’s eviction of the Ponca Tribe from their northeastern Nebraska land, and he later returned to Nebraska to bury his son. The resulting landmark court case established that a Native American is a “person” under the law.

Working with other state and federal government agencies and federal and state elected officials is an important aspect of the commission, and Gaiashkibos values this collaboration.

“Wherever possible, what I try to do is bring the voice of the First People in a proud, good way that can benefit the whole state.”

-Judi Gaiashkibos

 

Sharing stories of Native history is important to Gaiashkibos, who believes in developing leaders in her community, giving her people a voice, and advocating on their behalf for the betterment of all people in Nebraska and beyond.

***

Catch Up With Chuck is Facebook Live series with Rural Futures Institute Founding Executive Director Chuck Schroeder. Airing most Thursdays at 11:15 a.m. (CST) on RFI’s Facebook Page, Chuck uses this time to discuss critical rural topics and the latest about RFI while answering viewers’ questions. Stay in touch with Catch Up With Chuck and the Rural Futures Institute through Facebook and Twitter. We will be back soon with another episode looking at rural people and places, success stories, innovators, thinkers and doers who are making rural communities a legitimate best choice for worthwhile living.

 

Building a Theory of Positive Youth Leadership Identity

Lindsay J. Hastings, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Director of
Nebraska Human Resources Institute
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
lhastings2@unl.edu

L.J. McElravy, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
lj.mcelravy@unl.edu

Introduction

The United States is poised to experience one of the largest transfers of leadership in its history, as evidenced by employed individuals aged 45 and over holding approximately 56 percent of all management occupations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012). Reichard and Paik (2011) argue that waiting to adulthood to develop leadership is too late because children and youth are more malleable, and can demonstrate a greater impact from intentional development. The capacity of youth to experience leadership development as well as the necessity of that development provides meaning to the current paper.

Murphy (2011) outlines the current research on youth leadership and finds it wanting. She explains that the methodical study of leadership is found almost exclusively in adults; warning that not addressing leadership in children and youth leaves a lack of understanding as to the processes of human development that would help shape a model for leadership growth across a lifetime. Murphy suggests that the field of youth leadership development could be improved by the development of “appropriate leadership success indicators” and use of evaluation methods that are effectual (p. 33).

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to build a theory of positive youth leadership identity. We conceptualize positive youth leadership identity as an explicit theory of oneself as a positive leader, providing further conceptualization and potential for future assessment around
self-management in Murphy’s (2011) preliminary youth leadership model. Murphy and Johnson (2011) suggest that the two most frequently cited results of leadership development are leadership identity along with self-regulation (e.g., Gardner, Avolio, Luthans, May, & Walumbwa, 2005), which are strongly associated with leadership effectiveness (Avolio & Hannah, 2008). Lord, Hall, and Halpin (2011) articulate the role of identity in leadership, arguing that identities are developed over a lifetime and reveal connections from adult leadership to childhood experiences. The current paper seeks to conceptualize positive leadership identity in youth in preparation for building an effectual measure.

Building upon previous definitions of youth leadership (e.g., MacNeil, 2006; Wang & Wang, 2009), we define positive youth leadership as the dynamic relational influence process that promotes positive attitudes and/or behaviors in others and/or collective group action. Based upon preliminary research studies (McElravy & Hastings, 2014a, 2014b, 2016) and an extensive review of the literature, we propose a higher order construct of positive youth leadership identity. The results of the preliminary studies are outlined below followed by a literature review that lead to the development of four proposed factors.

 

Results of Preliminary Studies

McElravy and Hastings’s (2014a, 2014b, 2016) studies examined the relationship between personality, trait-based emotional intelligence, cognitive and affective empathy, psychological capital (PsyCap), and self-perceived leadership skills in youth. The first McElravy and Hastings’s (2014a) study examined personality, trait-based emotional intelligence, and self-perceived leadership skills among (N=115) youth. While the regression model including all variables (age, gender, race/ethnicity, SES, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, and emotional intelligence) explained 35.3% (Adjusted R2; F=5.77, p<0.01) of the variance in self-perceived leadership skills, age and emotional intelligence were the only significant predictors. Furthermore, emotional intelligence explained over four times the amount of variance in self-perceived leadership skills than age.

The second McElravy and Hastings’s (2014b) study examined the relationship between psychological capital, cognitive and affective empathy, and self-perceived leadership skills among (N=46) youth. After entering cognitive and affective empathy and PsyCap (implicit measure) into a stepwise regression analysis, while including gender, race/ethnicity, and socio-economic status in the model as controls, cognitive and affective empathy emerged as significant predictors of self-perceived leadership skills. The final stepwise regression model including the control variables and cognitive and affective empathy accounted for 31.5% (Adjusted R2; F=4.397, p<0.01) of the variance in self-perceived leadership skills.

In McElravy and Hastings’s (2016) study, a stepwise regression analysis was conducted to test the predictive value of personality, empathy, and psychological capital (both implicit and academic measures) on self-perceived leadership skills among (N=34) youth. After entering personality, empathy, implicit PsyCap, and academic PsyCap into the regression model, while controlling for SES and race and ethnicity, academic PsyCap emerged as the most significant predictor of self-perceived leadership skills. The final stepwise regression model including race and ethnicity, SES, and academic PsyCap accounted for 55.1% (Adjusted R2; F=12.492, p<0.001) of the variance in self-perceived leadership skills among the youth surveyed. However, academic PsyCap was the only significant predictor (β = .652; t = 4.77; p < .001).

The results of all three combined studies suggest that youth who (a) understand and share in others’ emotions (cognitive and affective empathy—Joliffe & Farrington, 2006), (b) demonstrate an innate ability to successfully marshal their emotions and the emotions of others
(trait-based emotional intelligence—Van Rooy & Viswesvaran, 2004), and (c) generate the developmental state of high efficacy, hope, resiliency, and optimism (PsyCap—Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007) tend to rate themselves as having high leadership skills. These combined results serve as helpful preliminary data in the pursuit of conceptualizing and measuring youth leadership. Constructs related to empathy, emotional intelligence, and psychological capital provide initial theoretical grounding for the broader positive youth leadership identity construct. Based upon these preliminary research findings and an extensive review of the literature, we propose that the higher order construct of positive youth leadership identity is comprised of four factors, namely motivation to lead, positive task affect in groups, social influence capital, and human relations capital. Each factor is outlined in the following sections.

 

Motivation to Lead

Drawing from Chan and Drasgow’s (2001) definition of motivation to lead (MTL) as an individual’s decision to engage in leadership responsibilities, we define motivation to lead in the context of positive youth leadership identity as the willingness to engage in leadership positions and training and development. We include ‘training and development’ in a youth leadership context because youth likely have fewer opportunities than adults to pursue formal leadership positions. Thus, a young person may reasonably demonstrate motivation to lead through attending workshops, seminars, and programs designed to develop their leadership capacity.

Both Murphy (2011) and Avolio and Vogelgesang (2011) include motivation to lead in their youth leadership models. Murphy (2011) indicates that leadership roles will not likely be pursued without adequate desire or motivation. Avolio and Vogelgesang (2011) agree: “For individuals to gain leadership-rich experiences, they must be motivated to take on thoseexperiences in the first place” (p. 189). We propose that motivation to lead in the context of positive youth leadership identity includes leadership self-efficacy, the desire to develop into an effective leader, and leadership role occupancy.

Leadership self-efficacy—the belief that one has the capabilities and the psychological resources to meet leadership demands (Guillén, Mayo, & Korotov, 2015)—emerged as a significant predictor and developmental antecedent to motivation to lead (Chan & Drasgow, 2011). Murphy (2011) includes self-efficacy and motivation to lead in the self-management portion of her preliminary youth leadership model, and Avolio and Vogelgesang (2011) include leader self-efficacy and developmental readiness (where motivation to lead is situated) as influencing the development of leader self-concept.

The desire to develop into an effective leader pays tribute to the notion that youth may demonstrate motivation to lead through a motivation to develop their leadership capacity rather than pursue a formal leadership role. This desire may indicate a youth’s learning goal orientation (Dweck, 1986) applied toward leadership or a general desire for leadership learning. Including leadership role occupancy as part of motivation to lead, on the other hand, reflects a youth’s motivation to pursue formal leadership roles. Lord, Hall, and Halpin (2011) argues that leadership identities develop gradually as an individual steps into a new role, tries new experiences, and receives feedback.

 

Positive Task Affect in Groups

In the context of positive youth leadership identity, we define positive task affect in groups as a sense of positivity regarding accomplishing tasks with others and includes elements such as hopeful goal attainment, optimistic outlook of group work, collective orientation, and task orientation at a group level. The inclusion of positive task affect in groups reflects the results of McElravy and Hastings’s (2016) study where psychological capital (PsyCap) emerged as a significantly predictor of self-perceived leadership skills in youth.

While PsyCap has not been investigated much in youth, lower-order constructs such as hope and optimism have been either examined in youth populations or offered as important components to youth leadership. Results from Snyder et al.’s. (1997) study connected hope to positive outcomes in youth, indicating that children who demonstrated higher hope tended to connect themselves to positive outcomes, as opposed to attributing success to luck. Murphy (2011) echoed this sentiment in explaining why she includes optimistic style in her preliminary youth leadership model. Collective orientation stems from Mortensen, et al.’s (2014) qualitative study of National Youth Leadership Initiative participants which revealed collective action as one of the five key themes that described youth perception of what makes someone a leader.

Task orientation at the group level recognizes the critical importance of task orientation to task completion in groups. Huffmeier and Hertel (2011) provide evidence of the direct link between positive task affect and task accomplishments in groups.

 

Social Influence Capital

Social influence capital as a factor of positive youth leadership identity reflects the results of McElravy and Hastings’s (2014a) study that revealed trait-based emotional intelligence as a significant predictor of self-perceived leadership skills in youth. Additionally, Bukowski, Velasquez, and Brendgen (2008) describe peer influence as “essentially an idea about change. Its central claim is that a child’s behavior will change as a function of the child’s experiences with peers” (p. 126). With this description in mind, we offer social influence capital as the confidence one has in influencing others using social astuteness and suggest that social influence capital includes elements such as self-efficacy in social influence domain, self-perception of interpersonal influential capacity, and emotional intelligence (specifically social awareness and sociability).

Bandura (2006) references several meta-analytic studies (e.g., Holden, Moncher, Schinke, & Barker, 1990; Stajkovic, & Luthans, 1998) in arguing that perceived self-efficacy is influential in human self-development, adaption, and change. Evidence suggests that specific behaviors are better predicted by an individual’s domain-specific self-efficacy rather than general efficacy (Ashford, Edmunds, & French, 2010), thus including self-efficacy in social influence domain pays tribute to the influence of self-efficacy while recognizing that self-efficacy may manifest itself in multiple ways when contributing toward a positive youth leadership identity.

We included self-perception of interpersonal influential capacity to reflect that young people must accomplish projects and goals using influencing skills (Yip, Liu, & Nadel, 2006). The ability to influence others is associated with social status or rank as individuals with high-status are given social capital as they are placed in a position to influence their peers (Juvonen & Galván, 2008). Recchia (2011) qualitatively investigated early childhood leadership using observational data of identified preschool student leaders. Results indicated that preschool students described as leaders possess “a strong sense of self” and the ability “to hold on to that sense of self in interactions with others” (p. 45). Recchia points out that the identified preschool leaders possessed a highly developed understanding of the people and environment surrounding them and their place in it.

In further support of emotional intelligence’s place in youth leadership, Wang and Wang’s (2009) review of youth leadership development models indicated that interpersonal skills, notably emotional intelligence, are a critical part of team leadership. The results of Ward and Ellis’s (2008) study of (N = 180) Boy Scout participants revealed that one of the two highest predictors of positive followership ratings was a demonstrated willingness by the leader to provide social support. Ward, Lundberg, Ellis, and Berrett (2010) linked the concepts of relatedness and social support by arguing that as adolescents begin to pull away from their parents for emotional support, they look to peers to fill the void.

 

Human Relations Capital

With a belief that relationships are at the core of youth leadership, we define human relations capital as the confidence one has in developing authentic relationships using social skill. Again, since youth leaders will need to rely more on social skill than positional power, positive relationship-building may likely contribute to youth leadership success. Human relations capital as a factor of positive youth leadership identity reflects the results of McElravy and Hastings’s (2014b) study that revealed cognitive and affective empathy as significant predictors of self-perceived leadership skills in youth. To further conceptualize human relations capital, we propose that human relations capital is comprised of elements such as self-efficacy in relational domain, self-perception of relationship-building capacity, and empathy.

The results of Lerner et al.’s (2005) positive youth development (PYD) study offer several relevant reasons for including self-efficacy in relational domain, self-perception of relationship-building capacity, and empathy to describe human relations capital. Specifically, four out of the Five Cs for PYD include: (a) competence, the positive self-perception of one’s actions socially, (b) confidence, one’s overall self-efficacy and positive self-belief, (c) connection, positive and bidirectional relational and institutional bonds, and (d) caring and compassion, being sympathetic and empathetic.

Including self-efficacy in relational domain, again, acknowledges the influence of self-efficacy (Bandura, 2006) and reflects Lapieerrea, Naidoob, and Bonaccioa’s (2012) analysis of (N=137) relational dyads in assessing the impact of leaders’ relational self-concept, which revealed that leaders who demonstrate a more relational self-concept are more likely to provide mentoring to their followers. Relative to self-perception of relationship-building capacity, Mack et al. (2011), similar to Popper (2011), explain that a person’s early development of relationships is foundational for positive and healthy leadership in the future. Mack and colleagues (2011) concluded from their research on successful executives that “successful leaders tend to have securely anchored relationships in both personal and professional interactions and are better characterized as being more self-reliant and interdependent than independent” (p. 140).

Additionally, Rosenblum and Lewis’s (2008) argue that adolescents who demonstrate empathy are better able to expect and react to others’ emotional changes, appearances, and experiences. Kellett, Humphrey, and Sleeth (2006) assessed perceived emotional abilities related to leadership skills utilizing small group peer reports among (N=231) students. Results revealed that the emergence of relations leaders are linked to emotional abilities. Kellett et al. explain, “because perceptions of relations leadership require feelings of being understood and valued, it is important for a leader to accurately detect emotions and to experience and express empathy” (p. 157).

 

Conclusion

Recognizing the societal need for developing youth leaders given the impending sizeable leadership transfer and the critical importance of intentional early leadership development (Murphy, 2011; Reichard & Paik, 2011), this conceptual paper serves to answer Murphy’s (2011) call for the development of youth leadership research by building a theory (and ultimately, a measure) around positive youth leadership identity. Positive youth leadership identity—the explicit theory of oneself as a positive leader—and its four factors of motivation to lead, positive task affect in groups, social influence capital, and human relations capital provides further conceptualization around self-management in youth leaders and provides the necessary theoretical underpinnings for future psychometric assessment.

 

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Copyright © 2017 Lindsay J. Hastings & L.J. McElravy all rights reserved.

Catch Up With Chuck Episode 10 Entrepreneurship in the Rural Future with RFI Fellow Robert Stowell

 

Jan. 18, 2018

Joining Chuck in this week’s episode of Catch Up With Chuck is RFI Community Innovation Fellow Robert Stowell, J.D., founding member of Stowell & Geweke, PC, LLO. Since opening his law practice in Ord, Neb., in 1972, Stowell has been a driving force in entrepreneurship, community engagement and economic development in Ord.

Rural communities are important to Stowell. He grew up in a thriving rural area in Valley County, Neb. After leaving when he was 17 years old, he and his wife decided to move back and raise their children in a rural environment.

Stowell shares RFI’s belief in people’s capacity to shape their own futures. He agrees that community development in rural places depends on the people rather than the location, demographics or history. Over time, Stowell decided that a widespread investment in the leadership capacity of area residents would be key to the long term vitality of not only Ord, but Valley County as well.

Community development is not a simple task, and Stowell has the needed grit to accomplish great things in rural communities. One of RFI’s core values is hopeful grit, and we value courageous determination and passionate confidence.

“It takes some grit and a little thick skin, but if we just keep our eye on the ball, if we just keep our eye on the goal, it is worth it.”

-Robert Stowell, J.D.

 

In order for the future of rural America to thrive, Stowell believes it is important for the older generations to create opportunities and develop leadership skills in the younger people in rural areas.

***

Catch Up With Chuck is Facebook Live series with Rural Futures Institute Founding Executive Director Chuck Schroeder. Airing most Thursdays at 11:15 a.m. (CST) on RFI’s Facebook Page, Chuck uses this time to discuss critical rural topics and the latest about RFI while answering viewers’ questions. Stay in touch with Catch Up With Chuck and the Rural Futures Institute through Facebook and Twitter. We will be back soon with another episode looking at rural people and places, success stories, innovators, thinkers and doers who are making rural communities a legitimate best choice for worthwhile living.

 

RFI Project Update: Building Capacity for the Family Health and Wellness Coalition

Social, environmental and behavioral determinants of health account for 60 percent of a person’s health status. Consequently, community development can influence health and a healthy community has a significant economic impact.

Faculty from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Kansas are honored to work on this RFI-funded project that is focused on building the capacity of the Family Health and Wellness Coalition of Nebraska’s Boone, Colfax, Nance and Platte counties.

With RFI funding, the group of local leaders have the time and space to engage with experts around coalition building that can give them the next level of strategic planning, implementation and evaluation of their efforts to improve community health.

“It’s this type of empowerment that pays itself forward for years to come,” says UNK Professor and RFI Fellow Todd Bartee

More RFI-funded project details >>> 🤓

Happy Holidays From RFI

RFI Staff

Back from left: Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, Shawn Kaskie, Theresa Klein, Katelyn Ideus, Kayla Schnuelle. Front from left: Chuck Schroeder, Lauren Simonsen, Aliese Hoffman, Kim Peterson


 

As demonstrated by our belief statements, “together with our partners” is not just a filler phrase we use in passing to describe the work we do. Rather, it is an essential, critical element that we all must employ to meet our mission of a thriving high-touch, high-tech rural future.

 

Thank you to our partners who we can call upon, share with and learn from.

 

 


 

Video Highlights of 2017

 

We launched RFI Fellows with 26 faculty and community innovation fellows from the University of Nebraska (NU), the state of Nebraska and beyond.

 

We connected “fierce” rural innovators from Japan with rural experts from NU and Nebraska to learn and share.

 

Here is an introduction to one of the nine projects we funded this year. There are 50 projects total, all benefiting rural communities in Nebraska and beyond.

 

We placed student interns in rural communities through 2017 RFI Student Serviceship, and we’re looking forward to 2018!

 


 

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