February 25, 2019 to March 3, 2019
Below is a quick recap from week seven as your 4th District County Commissioner. You can follow me in real time on Facebook here
Top Story - Scholarships encourage Training at WSU Tech
Being a rock star is one thing but when you give back to help others achieve their goals, well, that makes you special. Metallica, a staple in the heavy metal world for the past 38 plus years and known for favorites like “ Master of Puppets” and my personal favorite “ Nothing Else Matters” are doing just that… Giving back. And in a HUGE way. 

Metallica's All Within My Hands Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges have launched the Metallica Scholars Initiative: $1 Million in grants to go to 10 community colleges.

“WSU Tech is honored to be chosen as a recipient of the Metallica Scholars Grant,” said Dr. Sheree Utash, President of WSU Tech, “We look forward to advancing “Women in Manufacturing” with this funding in aviation sheetmetal, machining and welding. WSU Tech is excited about the opportunity to engage women into pursuing career opportunities in the manufacturing industry.”

In addition to the opportunities provided by this grant for women, WSU Tech has a few other programs worth mentioning. Wichita Promise is designed to increase Wichita’s skilled workforce by removing barriers that keep individuals from getting trained. Wichita Promise MOVE is a scholarship program available exclusively to people outside of the Wichita area who are willing and able to relocate to start a new career. The Wichita Promise MOVE scholarship pays tuition and fees for eligible programs at WSU Tech.

A big shout out to Dr. Sheree Utash for taking time to show me around. WSU Tech is a very impressive program and I cannot wait to see what you have cooking up for future programs. 
County Highlight - Conserving Our Resources
We only have one planet. When our resources are gone… they are gone. We must protect what we have now by combining our modern ways of living with a deeper respect and understanding of what nature provides. 

This past week, Nova and I attended the 74th Annual Conservation District meeting. According to the State of Kansas website the first Conservation District was formed in Labette County (my home county) in 1938. Severe soil erosion problems during the Dust Bowl prompted the passage of the Conservation District Law by the Kansas legislature in 1937. This legislation lead to the formation of Conservation Districts in Kansas.

Conservation Districts address a wide range of environmental concerns. Those interests include agricultural and urban erosion and sediment control, water quality, water quantity, range and pasture management, fish and wildlife habitat, and other natural resource management issues.

Our Sedgwick County Chapter has started a soil sampling project that will run for an entire year. Speared headed by newly hired District Manager, Catherine Johnson, this project will take and test samples of soil from all over Sedgwick County. Results of the study will be presented at the 75th Annual Meeting in 2020.   

Sedgwick County provides this group $40,000 per year.

For more information about the Conservation District go here
Business Spotlight - Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce
Mark your calendars for the inaugural Heartland Classic, hosted by the Heartland Wichita Black Chamber of Commerce on the campus of Wichita State University on Sept. 7, 2019. The Heartland Classic at Cessna Stadium features a matchup between McPherson College and Langston University to kick off the fall 2019 football season.

“We are so excited to kick off the First Heartland Wichita Black Chamber of Commerce Football Classic. The weekend will be a celebration of cultural experiences and educational achievements while showcasing the spirit, energy, and commitment of the Heartland Wichita Black Chamber of Commerce.,” said Gregory Cole, President of the Heartland Chamber.

The goal for this event will be to feature a new rivalry between two great institutions and to create increased scholarship opportunities to deserving students, leverage communal capital to assist the growth and development of new entrepreneurs, and to sustain those who have been in business for some time in underserved communities.

To discover more of the incredible things happening at the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce go here.
Mom Moment - It Takes a Village
They say it takes a village to raise a child but no one ever really tells you where that village is located. That’s why you just have to create your own. 

Raising my daughters is the only thing in this world that 100% requires my full attention. Everything else is just extra until they are out of my house and even then… will they ever stop needing me? Will that empty nest turn in to me needing them? Only the future will tell but for now, I’m tackling this whole momma bit with as much grace and laughter as possible. But if we are being real here, from time to time, I need a break. Like … someone take my girls before I snap, brake. Anyone else know that feeling? 

For a very long time, I had a partner to help raise my girls with but for reasons out of my control I don’t have that any more. The responsibility falls squarely on my shoulders. A few in my tribe have been doing this whole single momma bit for a lot longer than me and I’ve always admired their strength and resilience to push through even when they wanted to give up. 

Making that shift from doing everything on my own to asking for help has been an adjustment. It really does take a village to raise children. It really does take a village just to get through the day sometimes. Often times I feel as if the system is not really designed for single moms to succeed. Or because of the expectations we set for ourselves, we must be strong 100% of the time. I’ve never been one to ask for help so I pretty much work myself to the bone and I'm finding it’s just not a sustainable way to live. 

This past weekend, two very important members of my tribe came through like champs. Helping coordinate my girls while I was out of town before I even mentioned it to them. I am so very thankful for those family and friends who love and help me. It’s quite possibly the only way I am able to survive this crazy thing we all call life! 

A long time ago I wrote a song called “Patches of People”. It was never really more than a napkin kinda song but the gist of it was to find those people who fit … your village, your tribe. People who accept you just as you are and who want the very best for you. If you haven’t found your “patch of people” keep looking. They are there and once you find them… Love them dearly and love them often. 

To my little tribe, I love you all. Thank you for supporting me. I could not and do not want to do this alone. 
The Week Ahead - Don't Miss the Citizens Advisory Board
As the newly elected Commissioner for the Fourth District, it is important for me to create a regular monthly meeting to address all concerns and comments that may directly impact the citizens of District 4. I am always available and will post updates via social media but wanted to develop a Citizens Advisory Board to create a place where a group of citizens can be heard on a monthly basis.

Our first meeting will be an informational meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. on March 11th in the Jury Room of the Courthouse, 525 N. Main. There is plenty of parking in the parking garage. Please enter through the north door.  

This is your opportunity to learn more about the Citizens Advisory Board. The monthly meeting location may change for April. 
"Inspire others to Inspire others!"
525 N. Main, Ste 320, Wichita, KS 67203