Our community is one that needs young people to stand up and lead. In order to convince other young professionals to stay in and move to this area, we must have visible youth in leadership, doing good and proving Hickory vibrant, open to fresh ideas.

An excellent current example of youth leadership setting a visible, public example is The Hickory Playground, a local nonprofit founded by young people to support young people. Hickory Playground’s mission is to provide theatre arts opportunities and funding to students in the Catawba County school systems. I recently attended their May 31 annual fundraiser and met co-founders Dylan Tashjian, Jordan Makant and Robert Fuller. I was delighted to see their fundraiser well-attended and learned how the group was truly a grassroots, ground-up movement. A professional operation to fund arts for our students, this group clearly has broad community buy-in. Job well done!

Aaron Kohrs

Hickory, NC

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