People always said Leadership Lexington would change your life, but before participating in the program, I expected that to be an over-exaggeration. I should have believed them because Leadership Lexington has been a life-changing program.

The Leadership Lexington Class of 2019 gathered monthly to learn and discuss various themes, such as public safety, education, government, nonprofits, equine, and the arts. Each meeting provided a look into an industry or sector that was outside of my daily life as an accountant and provided me the chance to learn more about the thriving city of Lexington.

Although I loved learning more about my city of residence, the best part of Leadership Lexington was developing friendships with some very impressive people in my class and other Leadership Lexington alumni. Each of my classmates, with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, contributed to the monthly class sessions openly and honestly, providing a deep perspective for some of the most difficult of topics. Most importantly, these people challenged me to think bigger and understand more deeply.

Each Leadership Lexington class divides into small groups to focus on a community enhancement project. My project, #LEXGETFITWeek, is coming to culmination June 1-8, in and around Lexington. Lexington has all sorts of “weeks” including pizza, beer, and burger week, but knowing that Kentucky ranks as one of the least healthy states, our group was inspired to dedicate a week to moving, eating wisely, educating, and providing access to health and wellness in the Lexington community.

Fitness facilities and restaurants have provided special offers to anyone – for example, access to the YMCA is free the whole week and there are coupons to save $5 on healthy meals! Outside of these incredible offers, we developed a community events calendar highlighting classes that are free and open to the public. The calendar is jam-packed with events like meal prep courses, water aerobics, yoga, free play, walk with the mayor, and more. These events are happening all over Lexington on June 1-8 at various locations including the YMCA, Fayette County libraries, local parks, and pools. I am so proud of the group that planned this project and can’t wait to see it kick off!