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  • Writer's pictureLynsey Krusie

Empowerment Luncheons for Local Students

The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine recently hosted men’s and women’s Empowerment Luncheons for local middle school students to connect them with area professionals and spark inspiration. The events were held in partnership with Geri Kent who helped make the events possible through her sponsorship, as well as support in planning and coordination.


Nearly 120 middle schoolers from Louisa-Muscatine, Muscatine, West Liberty, and Wilton Schools participated alongside over 60 local men and women from a variety of professions. Students and leaders were encouraged to continue communicating after the luncheons.


At the women’s event, Rachel Pohl, Executive Director at UnityPoint Health – Trinity Muscatine, served as the featured speaker. Hannah Howard, Executive Director at Lead(h)er, also presented. Rachel spoke on the importance of surrounding yourself with positive influences and the power of mentorship that helped her achieve her dreams.


The men’s event included Ben Pohl, Physician Assistant at UnityPoint Health – Trinity Muscatine, as the featured speaker. Tony Loconsole, Director of Communications at Muscatine Community School District, moderated. Ben empowered students by encouraging them to find confidence in preparation and by shifting their perspective to seek positivity in difficult situations. Duncan Snider, professional baseball player for the San Diego Padres organization, also spoke at the men’s event on the power of pursuing opportunities and overcoming obstacles.


“Rachel and Ben each delivered powerful and relatable messages to the young ladies and gentlemen at the two events. Their focus on leading with integrity, living your values, and never losing sight of your dreams was messaging that resonated with the students and adults alike. We are fortunate that Rachel and Ben have chosen to bring their passion and leadership back to their hometown of Muscatine,” said Charla Schafer, President of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.


Students at both events received a copy of the book “You Are Awesome: Find Your Confidence and Dare to be Brilliant at (Almost) Everything” by Matthew Syed.


Pictured above: Area professionals in attendance at the Men's Empowerment Luncheon on Nov. 8 at Geneva Golf & Country Club.

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