Students in Leadership Killeen got a glance of several local government operations Wednesday while learning more about their community.

“The purpose (of Leadership Killeen) is to expose these young leaders to different areas of the community,” said Maria Michel, who organized the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce program.

Leadership Killeen is a nine-month program that allows professionals and area business owners to interact with multiple aspects of the community. The program started in September. Next month, the 23 people enrolled in this year’s program will visit with Fort Hood representatives.

The people in Leadership Killeen get a chance to experience and learn about resources and organizations in the area, Michel said. But they also are the next community leaders.

Presentations on Wednesday took place at Killeen City Hall and the Killeen police station from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Speakers included Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin, Bell County Judge Jon Burrows, Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin and Killeen Assistant City Manager Ann Farris.

“One of the things that I am trying to do today is to get you to consider public service,” Corbin said. “There are all sorts of ways to volunteer ... and you should come to the council meeting and see how the sausage is made.”

Corbin’s presentation focused on how the council balances personal beliefs with the integrity of doing what follows the law, as well as the complexity of some of those decisions the council makes and opportunities to get involved.

“(Leadership Killeen) is informative,” said Latoya Ellis, who works with Metroplex Health Care System. “It gives you a lot of community resources that I didn’t know were out there before.”

Being a part of Leadership Killeen doesn’t just give those attendees the resources available to them, Michel said. It lets the people in the class network among the organizations in the program but also among themselves.

“(The first class) was great,” said Clinton McCoy, who works for Carter Blood Care Center. “We got to learn about ourselves and the others.”

The program really lets you get to know the community, McCoy said.

Hopefully, being in the program will help those involved reach their aspirations, Michel said.

The Killeen chamber’s goal is to help the community achieve economic growth, and having successful and informed business leaders contributes to that goal, she said.

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​ or (254) 501-7474

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