Cedar Valley’s Leader in Me receives major commitment from John Deere Foundation
WATERLOO, December 25, 2015—
The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Foundation plans to expand Leader Valley’s cornerstone Leader in Me® initiative, thanks to a $558,000 grant from the John Deere Foundation. The grant, to be paid over two years, will support the advancement of Leader in Me® in elementary, middle, and high schools with a projected impact of 4,995 students and 689 educators in 13 schools.
“The John Deere Foundation invests in projects that provide inspiring, rewarding, and innovative educational experiences for both youth and adults, particularly in our home communities,” says Mara Sovey Downing, Director, Global Brand Management and Corporate Citizenship. “This initiative emphasizes development of the essential soft skills, while helping students acquire the knowledge needed for future career and academic success,” she added.
“This significant investment by one of the Cedar Valley’s most visionary businesses will broaden Leader Valley/Leader in MeR presence. It ensures that even more of our students will be equipped with the tools needed to develop their talents and gifts and be given authentic leadership opportunities,” says Steve Dust, CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. “It also benefits the Metro and broader Cedar Valley with a more engaged, collaborative talent pool possessing the soft skills absolutely essential for success in 21st century careers.”

Leader in MeR is implemented by Leader Valley, a talent initiative of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber with the goal of developing a strong workforce and to strengthen business and education collaboration. The Leader in MeR initiative aims to expand the reach of leadership and 21st Century soft skill development opportunities to all students in the Cedar Valley. Nineteen Cedar Valley schools are already implementing Leader in MeR in their buildings, with a goal of 34 schools by 2020.
For more information on Leader in MeR and other Leader Valley talent initiatives of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, contact Melissa Reade, Leader Valley Program Director, at 319-232-1156 or by visiting www.cedarvalleyalliance.com.