Our Voice: We're thankful for leaders, thinkers in the Mid-Columbia who inspire us

Student leader

Leadership isn't about being the boss. Leadership is about motivation and cooperation. It's about getting people involved and getting things done.

Amber Eubanks, outgoing Associated Students president for Washington State University Tri-Cities, has figured that out.

WSU-TC is not the traditional college experience. There's no football team to rally for or dorms to hang out in.

Student involvement takes an extra effort, a realization that led Eubanks to student government. Her leadership greatly expanded the program's reach.

We like Eubanks' style.

Her remark, "I came back (to school) with the idea if I found something I was interested in and made time for it I'd be happier," should resonate with all of us.

For many, either we haven't found that passion or we haven't made time for it. Today is a great time to change that.

Running for office?

Friday is the end of filing week. It's not too late to toss your hat into the ring.

If you're frustrated with the way your school board, city council or other government entity runs, you might want to consider running for office yourself.

Or you might also want to take a run at an office if you think you have what it takes to make things better.

If you do decide to run for office, be prepared.

Attend the elected body's meetings. Read the minutes. Bring yourself up to speed on the challenges the group has been facing. Come up with some solutions that might work.

After all, civic activism involves getting people motivated and working together. It's not just for college students anymore.

We're grateful that people are willing to run for office and take on what frequently turn out to be thankless but vital jobs.

Science fair

Comedian Brian Regan talks about entering the school science fair with a cup of dirt. It's a pretty funny shtick. But probably not very accurate.

True, some students (and adults) try to slide by with the minimum of effort, but we are impressed by many of the outstanding science fair projects we've seen.

Richland High freshman Swetha Shutthanandan is one of those students with an impressive project. And our opinion is seconded by the judges.

Shutthanandan is taking her solar cells to the international science fair.

Larry Chick, a scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory who oversaw judging at the regional science fair, said he hopes other students will be inspired by Shutthanandan to enter the science fair in the future.

Only 270 middle and high school students from the Mid-Columbia entered this year.

We also would like to see kids (and adults) challenge themselves -- intellectually and otherwise.

And we are thankful for those who do. They set the example for the rest of us.