There’s that quote about youth being wasted on the young. I think about it often as I juggle all the different responsibilities I have at 46 years old. I wonder why my husband and I waited until almost 40 to start a business. I bemoan my lack of energy, and some days, my lack of inspiration. I yearn for my indestructible 20-year-old self. I (as the quote says) just wish she knew half as much as I do now.

That is why I really enjoy our annual feature showcasing 20-somethings who have pushed to lead, give back, create and focus at such a tender age. This month, we feature 30 of these young innovators; 10 in the magazine and the rest online. To be clear, this wasn’t a competition. Rather, it was a celebration of people who make their dreams a reality before they can even claim their first wrinkle or grey hair. They are brought to us by the community who works with them, buys goods and services from them, and watches them grow and succeed every day. It is a pleasure to devote a little space to their accomplishments.

August is also the month where we wind up summer and send the kids back to school. Our feature by Dan England highlights the challenges youth face today, laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. Repeatedly, educators talk about how looming mental health issues have grown especially within the last year and how school systems are fighting to make these concerns a priority. If you have school-aged children, this article is an important read.

Our co-worker Ashley will also bring her first little one into the world about the time this magazine hits new stands. We are so excited for Duke to join the NOCO Style family. Ashley works hard and is a wonderful advocate for NOCO Style, and we look forward to her return with her son in tow. Congrats Ashley, Cameron and baby Duke!

Finally, we have a great piece by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer that examines how the many performing art centers in NOCO had to innovate to survive the pandemic. Of all our industries shut down last year, theater is one of the last to return to normal business. Most are gearing up for their 2021-2022 season now, with shows starting this fall. Take the opportunity to support our local theaters and performing art centers—and the artists who inhabit them. They enrich our lives in a way we have sorely missed.

And don’t forget voting is under way for our 2021 Reader’s Choice Best of NOCO survey. We are in our 8th year, and our community participation has grown exponentially every year. Get online and vote for your favorites!

See you next month,

Angie Grenz