(Photo by Keith Hente, Staff)
Three of the current Sikeston City Council members are Jaycees. Two have been Jaycee presidents. All agree: being a Jaycee teaches leadership.
"It's a good opportunity for a young person to develop their skills," said Mayor Mike Marshall, an "Exhausted Rooster" Jaycee who served as the group's president in the mid-80s.
"When you are president of the Jaycees, you sit on a lot of boards in the community," agreed Councilman David Teachout, a Jaycee who also served as president. "You get a really good education on city government."
"Almost anybody in Sikeston over the years that has been involved in running the town have been involved with the Jaycees at some time," Marshall said. "All four members of the BMU board of directors right now are former Jaycees."
"It helps me tremendously today," said Councilman Mike Bohannon, an Exhausted Rooster member who was active in the '80s and early '90s holding several offices and serving on the executive board and rodeo board.
(Photo by Michelle Felter, Staff)
Teachout said as he was novelties chairman a couple times and ticket sales chairman, "the Jaycees taught me a lot about budgets, P&Ls, how to manage money, how to conduct business in the community."
"How I cut my teeth on the Jaycees when I first joined and got involved was I was chairman of the Jaycee swimming pool," Marshall said. "That taught me a lot of things about how to run a business and manage people, how to keep books. It was a great leadership opportunity when I was young."
"I joined the Jaycees back in the mid 80s and immediately got on the executive board and that's what really helped me," Teachout said. "That's where I leaned about public speaking and how to deal with standing in front of crowd, addressing a crowd."
He recalled how as state program manager for the Ten Outstanding Young Missourians program, he was required to be master of ceremonies for the program's banquet which includes giving narratives on all 10 outstanding young Missourians.
"There were probably 2,000 people in the audience," Teachout recalled. "If it hadn't been for the Jaycees, there's no way I could have done it."
Reflecting on how being a Jaycee has helped him, Bohannon said three things come to mind.
"One, it has taught me to work with other people to get things accomplished," he said. "Two, I have developed relationships that I would not have had if not for the Sikeston Jaycees."
These relationships are built on mutual respect, Bohannon said. "I've made very good friends I would not have otherwise made," he said.
"Third, and most importantly in my opinion, it taught me that when you give of your time and yourself, you get rewarded many times over," Bohannon said. "That's one of the most valuable lessons I've learned. You get rewarded time and time again. Everything you put into it, you get rewarded many times over."
"You ask any Jaycee who has been an officer or done any projects, they'll say the same thing: you get way more out of the Jaycee program than you put into it," Teachout said.