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Chamber of Commerce Offers Civics Academy on Wheels

There's a new opportunity for those wanting to get a civics lesson and learn more about St. Joseph.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) There's a new opportunity for those wanting to get a civics lesson and learn more about St. Joseph.

It's the first ever St. Joseph Civics Academy; an idea promoted through the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce.

"We hope people will create that ownership and really that desire to make their community a better place to live and work and raise their children," Natalie Redmond with the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce said.

The 23 participants range in age from 17-70 and come from all walks of life. They'll spend the next five weeks learning more about the community.

"They will learn a little more about the community, about government from the county level and the city level so that we can have better and more informed citizens," Redmond said.

Tour guide and local historian Roger Martin was happy to lend his expertise to the academy. He hopes participants will soak in some of the city's rich history.

"[It will help participants] appreciate the people who came before them from the early 1800s and earlier even to the current times and see how it all ties together with what they're doing in our community now," Martin said.

And the ultimate take away is hopefully more active, involved citizens.

"They may serve on a commission, they may help with a CIP, they may eventually run for city office," Redmond said.

At least one of the participants is saying, so far, so good.

"It inspires me to collaborate with others to determine what we can to do sustain our community and grow it," participant Sherri Hahn said.

The chamber is modeling the civic academy after another in Overland Park, Kan.

Participants will spend three hours each week learning more about the city's history, its infrastructure and its government.
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