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LIFT Wyoming and become a leader

LIFT Wyoming event from past year (Courtesy The Bark Firm)

CASPER, Wyo. — LIFT Wyoming is hosting their fourth annual LIFT event on Wednesday, September 29 at The Lyric Theater in downtown Casper. Be inspired by three leaders who will be speaking and learn what leadership looks like in Wyoming.

The event starts at 9:00 a.m. and registration begins at 8:00 a.m. The event is geared towards children and teenagers, but anyone can attend. Registration is $20. The event is in partnership with the Wyoming schools, but it is not a school event. Parents must excuse their kids from school this day.

Tom Grogan, LIFT president, Natrona County High School teacher, and football coach, started LIFT Wyoming. While the original idea of the organization was Grogan’s, he says, “Anything great in life is never done alone.” He says that there were a lot of people that helped make it possible

LIFT stands for Lead Inspire Fulfill Together, which is really at the heart of the nonprofits mission. Grogan says that the reason he wanted to start this program is because Wyoming was losing its biggest resource. No, it was not oil or coal, it was the youth.

Grogan grew up in Casper, going to Natrona County High School. He went to college in South Dakota and said that he loved his time away. However, he had always loved Casper and Wyoming. After he started teaching, he heard many kids say that all they wanted to do was to get out of Wyoming. This was really disheartening to Grogan, who actually loves it here.

He then started looking into what Wyoming was doing to keep young people here. The answer was that Wyoming was not trying. The governor had started programs for college students, but Grogan realized that by that time you might be too late to reach kids. In turn, he pitched this idea to inspire young people in Wyoming and, with the help of others, started LIFT.

They are hopeful to serve up to 150 kids at this year’s event. Grogan says that it has been hard to facilitate events due to COVID, but they are hopeful for the turnout.

This year, they are focusing more on giving leadership courses and raising leaders within the schools and communities.

At the event, there will be three speakers that represent leadership and the community: Chad Varga, Megan Grassell, and Steven Spicher. Each individual has had an amazing career and will be encouraging the future of Wyoming.

In the breakout sessions, Grogan says that the kids will be asked to come up with projects to better their schools and community. Together they will discuss how to facilitate that and how they can be involved in a leadership role.

LIFT Event Schedule

  • 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. — Registration in Lyric Lobby
  • 8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. — Opening Remarks
  • 8:45 a.m. – Keynote Speaker – Chad Varga
  • 10:05 a.m. – Megan Grassell
  • 11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. — Lunch Provided
  • 12:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. — Community Breakouts (Including 8 different locations within walking distance of our base at The Lyric in downtown Casper)
  • 2:25 p.m. — Eric Trowbridge – Closing Keynote Speaker
  • 3:30 p.m. — Reception