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Posted on Oct 20, 2018

Quincy Explorers program one of Success Summit stories

Here is one of the stories of the 2018 NCW Community Success Summit Story Exchange that will be highlighted at the NCW Community Success Summit in Pateros on Nov. 15.
The annual summit is held by the Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship. IRIS is gathering success stories that contribute to a community that maintains diverse, healthy ecosystems, fosters a high quality of life for all, and bridges cultural and political divides.
Pateros Mayor Carlene Anders says she likes the way the summit brings people from the region together to hear each other’s stories and to build on their successes.
“We’re starting to lose touch with each other even in rural areas as our dependence on technology grows,” Anders said in a press release. “But we can sit together at the summit and hear those stories of success that can improve our communities and are important from an economic, environmental, and even spiritual perspective.”
Successful outcome
The new Quincy Explorers program provides a chance to expand on a tested national model that helps adult mentors connect with students in life-changing ways, particularly with regard to understanding the field of law enforcement. “You never know who you are going to touch through mentoring,” Quincy Police Chief Kieth Siebert says, “and one life is worth the world.”
Situation
Siebert remembers what it was like growing up in Quincy where there was not a lot to do beyond school, sports, and church. Recognizing that boredom can breed all kinds of mischief, he decided to offer an interesting alternative for youth – the Quincy Explorer program. Modeled after that started by Rick Pitt with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office in Moses Lake, the Quincy Explorer program will pair mentors from all fields of law with curious students from 14 to 20 years old so they can learn about law, understand how it applies to their lives, and channel their activism into becoming productive adults. He also sees this program as a way to connect youth with their neighbors, a function of the Quincy community that has faded as screen time on indoor devices has increased and other issues have closed people off from their community.
Challenge
There is a lot of interest in the Quincy Police Department in helping with this program particularly among the 25 percent who grew up in Quincy area and understand the community. The challenge is having each of them devote the time needed to complete the certification process that is required by the Scouts of America Explorer program. An additional challenge involves vetting the mentors to keep would-be predators out.
Key activities
• Through the schools recruiting program participants who meet mental and physical fitness requirements; students grow in rank as they move through the years and program
• Providing students with an opportunity to sample careers; learning about criminal and constitutional law, defensive tactics, rank structure, mock traffic stops, police “ride-alongs”
• Expanding the sphere of contacts for a given student through interactions with mentors and community at events such as “Cops and Kids shopping event at Christmas time”
For more information, visit www.exploring.org/law-enforcement/.

Success summit
The Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship, or IRIS, plans to showcase success stories at the 9th annual NCW Community Success Summit in Pateros on Nov. 15. “Pateros Strong” is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pateros School Gym.
Event planners anticipate that more than 180 people will participate. An agenda and registration information is available at www.irisncw.org/summit/.
The 2016 summit was held in Quincy.

 By Post-Register Staff