By Communities of Excellence 2026 Chair and Co-Founder Lowell C. Kruse
In virtually all our Communities of Excellence 2026 documents and conversations, we describe the need for collaboration across SECTORS AND GENERATIONS. Sometimes the GENERATIONS piece gets lost in the conversation. The attached video message from Jordan Hasty, a Junior at Brookfield High School, to the group of people (he's one of them) leading the Brookfield/Marceline Pilot in Northwest Missouri is a good reminder about why we always need to include young people in our discussions. Jordan sent his message to the group when he realized he couldn't attend a meeting and wanted to make sure they understood how important it was to him that they adopt and learn how to use the Communities Framework...and all it implies...as they think about the future of their community.
It's important for us to remember that the long term growth and prosperity of communities relies on leadership dedicated to performance excellence, to constantly improving and to always thinking about the long term continuity and sustainability of its efforts. Successful communities understand the long term nature of their work particularly as it relates to preparing the next generation of leaders. Let's remember that it takes about 20 years to prepare an entry level young adult and another 15 to 20 years to prepare entry level young leaders for our community. Successful communities will be mindful and purposeful in preparing their children and youth for adulthood and their young adults for leadership in order to assure the highest levels of success over the long term. Students like Jordan Hasty clearly make the case for including our young people in every aspect of growing and strengthening our communities.