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The 2017 Dubois County Leadership Academy concluded its seventh annual session with a graduation ceremony Thursday evening in the CTIM Building on the campus of Vincennes University Jasper.

Two teams, consisting of five members each, presented a detailed breakdown of their Capstone Projects to an audience of their peers, sponsors and DCLA board members.  The graduation serves as the final of the six session class schedule, with gatherings divided equally between the supporting municipalities of Ferdinand, Jasper and Huntingburg.

The DC Five team, consisting of Ansley Jenkins, Emily Peak, Janessa Wolf, Mary Champion and Tyson Bredemeier, provided an in-depth look into their project, which is a take-off of the Little Free Library model, with units installed or soon to be installed in those communities without direct access to a library facility.  Team members went through the process of implementing their idea from concept, design and construction of the libraries, working with community leaders in Haysville, Celestine and St. Anthony to determine the location of the libraries as well as working on the necessary funding to finalize the project.  They also brought in some books for guests to take and use at one of the facilities when they are officially opened.

Team Ambiguous Quintet, made up of Tammy Sermersheim, Brett Pund, Emily Fuhs, Eber Menjivar and Jayme Lindauer, highlighted the process they went through for their project, which is the purchase and installation of a musical park at 18th Street Park in Ferdinand.  During their presentation, the team described the brainstorming process of fulfilling an untapped need which benefits young people and adults, along with determining the best company to work with and how to fund the higher end equipment that would be required.  Fundraising efforts, which are still on-going, received a major boost with a $7500 grant from the Dubois County Community Foundation.  The group hopes to have equipment ordered and ready to assemble by year’s end.

Following the Capstone Projects, board members presented graduates with engraved crystal plaques to acknowledge their hard work and participation in the Academy.  Many thanks to Ed Cole, President of Dubois Strong, for serving as keynote speaker.  Thanks as well to these companies for allowing their employees to participate:  German American, Indiana Furniture, Kimball Electronics, Springs Valley Bank & Trust, along with Vincennes University Jasper campus, the City of Jasper’s Art Center and Rec Department and City of Huntingburg’s Park Department.

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