The beginning of a brand-new academic year is always the best of times with much excitement and hope in the air. Throughout Missouri households are met with a blend of excitement, anticipation and a bit of inspired chaos. To all the students and family members welcome to this new phase. We can’t wait to see what you do next!

Our current cohort is still learning too as they are halfway through their Challenge experience. This week they will be gathering in Kirksville for Session III. Their agenda will take them to Milan in Sullivan County, Hurdland in Knox County, Leonard in Shelby County, Macon and LaPlata in Macon County, and in Adair County they will be in Kirksville as they are introduced to the origins of Osteopathic Medicine at A.T. Still University and the Department of Agriculture Science at Truman State University. They will learn about experiences and opportunities in the areas of horticulture and agronomy, agriculture business, resource management, health care availability and access, and the role of rural towns as they experience the culture of the region.

Kirksville/Session III was one of my favorite sessions.  I can honestly say my time spent there brought the “be open minded” mantra full circle.  I had an a-ha moment!  I wish my schedule would allow me to join them again to better understand the ongoing issues facing rural Missourians. I enjoyed getting to meet them all and learned so many new things when I joined them for their first session!

Best wishes to the Class of 2022 as they continue their life-long learning, networking, and leadership development.  When they graduate in November following their final session, we can’t wait to see what they do next either!