FOCUS St. Louis, a regional civic leadership organization, welcomes two new youth representatives to its diverse base of leaders. Essete Workineh, a senior at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, joins the board of directors in an organizational effort to serve the St. Louis region and help it to thrive through experience-based leadership training, civic issue education and public engagement initiatives.
“When first applying to the board, I mainly took it on as a challenge to step out of my comfort zone,” Workineh says. “I tend to not like speaking up. I plan on really giving my input and hope to reach all of my goals as a youth representative [while] continually trying to understand everybody’s point of view and helping to facilitate between the youth and the board members.”
Workineh previously participated in one of the FOCUS St. Louis programs, Youth Leadership St. Louis, which empowers students to become civic and community leaders. Through this program, she collaborated with a large, diverse group of students from across the region as they learned from community leaders and developed leadership skills.
Now, as a member of the board of directors, Workineh will continue contributing to the community by helping the board make decisions.
“Our jobs are to give input, review and help with new policies, assure financial solidness of the organization, oversee program activity, participate in a committee or project, and overall help implement strategies and evaluate plans," she details.
Workineh’s role includes that of community ambassador. She and her fellow youth representative, Anastasia Cook, will serve one-year terms on the board.
“I hope to learn how to take on a bigger role alongside people who are experienced in leadership,” Workineh says. “It’ll be a good learning experience and will put me in a position to deal with bigger decisions.”
“It doesn’t take more than one person to make change,” she adds, aiming to inspire. “Being a leader is important. I would encourage everyone who is shy and scared to step out and try to better the community.”
The business news you need
With a weekly newsletter looking back at local history.