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Miller's Youth Leaders are Already Leading

Miller's Youth Leaders are Already Leading Main Photo

16 Apr 2020


GSA News

Miller's Youth are Already Leading

In Miller, SD, the youth are more than the future - they are the present leaders. The people of Miller don't believe in waiting until the youth are grown to involve them in the community. Instead, On Hand Development (OHD) looks for ways to involve them in community planning and growth today. That is why OHD sponsors the youth to attend the Rural X Summit. Every year, Miller's youth leaders are able to hear ideas and use them to inspire annual projects at home.

The youth in the community not only have excellent ideas, but their ideas have helped to launch local businesses. For example, in 2016, the youth leaders had an idea to rent garden sheds to people with business ideas. This was a way for entrepreneurs to test ideas and see if the community would be open to supporting their business. The project started in December of 2016 when seven businesses rented garden sheds and created fun storefronts as part of Cozy Cabin Christmas.

On Hand Development was asked to do it again in July for the kick-off of Crazy Days. The businesses were so well received that several have gotten their tax license and formed official businesses, including Crafty Cousins (selling signs/refurbished furniture, group painting classes, bath salts/bath bombs/hand-made soaps), The Cookie Lady (selling cookies and baked goods), and Festive Photo Booth (a 7th-grade girl set up a fun photo booth with props and has been hired at reunions/weddings/birthdays, and more).

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What's the Big Idea?

To further promote youth participation in the community, On Hand Development Corporation runs the "What the Big Idea" contest on an annual basis. This is an entrepreneurship competition for Middle and High School kids. First place winners receive $500 in prize money from On Hand Development.

The Future of Youth Involvement in Miller

In 2017, youth leaders wanted an indoor movie theater. Youth leaders applied for the MPLC umbrella license to show movies inside the high school theater. Students and their families can attend this "pop-up indoor movie theater" where additional films will be screened in the future.

Youth leaders have also been working with the local Red Cross and Miller Fire Department to install 100 smoke alarms throughout the community. By working with these community organizations, youth leaders are helping families in Miller to stay safe.

To learn more or to get involved with On Hand Development, click here.

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