Episode 1 – Courtney & Sam – A Podcast of Ramblings

courtney & Sam


Courtney and her friend Samantha Kilgore team up to record ramblings as they rumble along to Kansas City each week. In this first edition’s podcast, Sam and Courtney reflect on why working at Job Corps is so great.


Have a topic that you want to hear us discuss? Contact Courtney or Samantha on Facebook and check back here weekly for links to our next episode!

International Day of Peace

In the spring of 2015, Job Corps students decided to organize and take action around the issue of preventing youth violence in the United States. Youth 2 Youth:  Partners 4 Peace, or “Y2Y,” is a violence-prevention initiative created by and led by Job Corps students nationwide. Each year in the week leading up to International Day of Peace, the Y2Y Network across the nation celebrates. What follows is a pictorial view of the International Day of Peace event that the Excelsior Springs Job Corps and City of Grandview partnered to make possible.

Rapper Silento greets our Job Corps SGA and Y2Y students as he arrives.

Our JROTC students taking a selfie

There was a long line most of the morning as all the attendees got checked in for the official Guinness Book of World Records record setting event! We did a human formation of a peace and heart symbol for “Peace and Love” on the International Day of Peace.

Being briefed on the day’s events

Our admissions counselors pause for a quick picture with National Job Corps Director Lenita Jacobs-Simmons

The Eastern Clay County Rotary came out to help offer some sweets for International Day of Peace!

It took almost two hours to check everyone in!

A Grandview officer visiting with Minact CEO Major General Collins and Grandview Mayor Leonard Jones Junior

The Grandview School District was amazing by how quickly they agreed to being part of the event. Working with their team has been wonderful.

Grandview High School’s Color Guard and Band performed beautifully

The Grandview, MO Police Department is awesome! They were on board from the beginning to make International Peace Day a success for all of Grandview. So thankful to them for their kindness and presence at the event!

Our JROTC students always impress me

It was so heartwarming to see a sea of people all ready to celebrate peace together!

Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center Director Bill Allen welcomes the crowd at the International Day of Peace celebration at the Grandview Amphitheater

Our Job Corps leaders kick off the concert after the human formation was complete!

MINACT CEO Major General Collins speaks to the crowd

Job Corps National Director Lenita Jacobs-Simmons speaks to the students

The City of Grandview Mayor Leonard Jones, Jr. speaks to the students for the International Day of Peace celebration at the Grandview Amphitheater

Our Job Corps students had an opportunity to perform!

Motivational speaker Anthony Butler encouraged all the students to help be the peace that we need in this world.

Rapper UB Star had all the kids with their hands up jumping up and down!

Singer Silento was a HUGE hit with all the ages of those in attendance

Jett Blakk ended the day with some rockin tunes to further their rockin’ revolution!

Setting the Guinness Book of World Record for the largest human formation of Peace and Love for International Peace Day! Many thanks to the students at the Excelsior Springs Job Corps for coming up with the idea and the City of Grandview, Park’s and Rec, Police Dept, and School District for all they did to make this a success!

A Day in the Life – Monday

🎶 The buzzard took the monkey for a ride in the air

The monkey thought that ev’rything was on the square

The buzzard tried to throw the monkey off his back

The monkey grabbed his neck and said, “Now, listen, Jack

Straighten up and fly right, straighten up and fly right

Straighten up and fly right, cool down papa, don’t you blow your top 🎶

This morning’s assembly was dark from the rain outside.

My first meeting was with GG Owens at JE Dunn Construction downtown.

Ms GG has helped thousands of people obtain employment in Kansas City. She’s currently serving our Job Corps Center as the Chair for the Workforce Development Council.

Had the pleasure of meeting these folks from England. They are working with Ms GG on a project supporting a school in Nigeria. They had pictures giving the children pencils to write with and working with children who were blind.

You never know what God has in store for you each day.

Since I was three blocks from my brother’s business and had fifteen minutes, I swung by to say hi. I worked for Joe once for a year and I’m still not exactly sure what he does.

This afternoon I had a meeting at the Clay County Courthouse presenting the MU Extension budget to the commissioners. As the appointed representative for Excelsior Springs, I’m honored to also be serving as the council’s Chair.

My friend Vern told me that the artist of this mural waited to paint all the faces on the characters. He then went around the county taking pictures of people and then drew their likeness into the mural to finish the characters. Isn’t that cool? I think that’s way fun!

It rained off and on all day. We have needed it. Loving these white blossoms outside my office window.

Mackenzie drew this at her friend Luna’s • #mackaday


Ready to roll!

Proud that Mackenzie has really been dedicated to roller derby. It’s a challenge for her, but she’s up to it!

Winding down

This is a big week for me. Pray I get through Wednesday, please!

Week in Review



You can’t tell, but Sketch is furious with her for being in the sink. It’s become a game each morning between the two of them. He kept hitting her over the head.

I haven’t moved anything into my office yet. I simply haven’t had time.

This morning I met with Martha Buckman at the Good Samaritan Center, which made for a good way to start the week.

The Good Samaritan Center is hosting another summer art program. This time our friend Shino is offering a Japanese influence. Great opportunity for all the kids!

Do you know someone between the ages of 16 and 24 who is interested in obtaining a trade certification for FREE? If so, let me know!

The south campus for Job Corps is right along Brush Creek.

With the weather being cooler, it was nice being outside for a while today.

Stopped by to wish my friend Larry a happy retirement and thank him for his service to our City.

This girl is always forcing these cats to let her hold them!

Said hello to the Muddy Missouri on the way to roller derby.

Saw some of these earlier today

Rebel Cat is her roller derby name. I’m glad she’s enjoying something that challenges her so much!

“Peace rules the day where reason rules the mind.” ~ Collins

Just a couple of love birds

Pretty cool that this where they have their roller derby practices and matches!

Love this old church that sits across the street.

As S. Jason says, “At least there’s water somewhere.”

This brick walk.

We are these kind of people now

Helping timekeep

Love how many girls roller derby empowers.

The storms were rolling in to Kansas City as we were coming through. We tried to bring them over to Excelsior, too, knowing how much we need rain.


Just being on campus every morning inspires me.

There is a whole crew of students dedicated to this project in the parking lot. I love that everywhere you look on campus there is evidence of a student’s work surrounding you.

Made the mistake of walking across campus in heels but felt better when I saw this.

Met my friend Rhonda for lemonades and she filled my brain full of wisdom about my new position. Rhonda retired from Job Corps after working there for many, many years. She left me such great notes about everything I would need to do. I’m so thankful to her for all she has done for the program. Before leaving for my meeting, some of her friends wanted to send her some good vibes, and I was grateful to be the one to deliver.

Stop. Think for a second. Do you know a young man or woman in need who could use a hand up in life? An opportunity to earn a trades degree and then be earning a good living? There are so many fields to choose from like culinary, carpentry, welding, CNA, security, and more! Also, it’s tuition free!! Yes!! No catch!! Completely FREE!! Contact me for info!

I didn’t eat anything from this case at Panera because I was waiting on something for later in the day!

Stopped by the house and Sketch was exactly where I thought he would be.

The kitten was crazy-eyed with the thought of me being home. It drives her insane because she always thinks I’m going to take her out. She spends the entire time I’m home for lunch running to the back door while loudly meowing at me. She only does this to me, not anyone else. And she does it every single day.

Look, I know I’m a flower fanatic. Clearly it’s some kind of obsession that I must have. But if I’m willing to admit that I have a problem does that mean I really have a problem? I mean maybe all of you are just wrong and should start taking pictures of them, too. Yah, that’s what it is! I’m sure of it…

You’re a world traveler. What’s your next stop? Mine is obviously the coffee shop.

Weekly coffee (and donut) with my fellow Wonder Women

I love that when I’m downtown I really do feel like their place is my place. #shopsmall

Been thinking about this building a lot lately. I’ve always been drawn to it for some reason. When I was a kid, I would watch for tourists walking by and then lure them in with my little kid appearance to walk them through the Hall. I wanted them to feel the magic that I feel when I’m inside. Like you’re a part of something bigger, something great.

I’ve been consulting with the Butterfly Whisperer and today was my chance to put his words of advice to the test!

Taking off

This afternoon I joined the student leaders in welcoming the new students to campus. Each week there is an intake of students that start the program fresh. The length of the program is based on their trade but is self-paced.

The welding trades have created these amazing handrails with various designs decorating them. Love the celestial elements included by the culinary building.

Moths may be different from butterflies but they like nectar just the same.

This is what I came home to. Look at that smug look. Welcome home.

Got my edition of The Phunn from the Excelsior Springs Museum & Archives!!

This girl and her cats

Are you going to take me out?

My world


A real laugh caught by S. Jason

S. Jason ’s up close view

Mackadoodle Morgan

People let me tell ya bout my best friends

Later gators!

S. Jason sent me this amazing pic. This is facing the east. The sun is setting behind him here.

Amazing how different the sky can look based on your angle anymore. Jason took this beautiful capture of the sky, too.

Cole Family Fun on the Boulevard

Billy Beale’s doggo came over to say hi!

Me and my mini me


Wet hair don’t care

Morning babe

Left the bathroom and came back to find him snuggled into the sink. Move it, Buster!!

I don’t take a second of these warmer seasoned days for granted. I love watching all the flowers face the sun each morning.

Felt so lucky to have gotten footage of a hummingbird moth on the boulevard yesterday. This morning on my way into work, there was another! Their wings flutter so fast! I’ll put videos in the comments for you to see!!

Surprisingly, he just lets her hold him like this. Then she walks him around for belly pets from Jason and me. He seems to love it.

She’s watching a cartoon in the upper left hand part of her screen and drawing in another app. Kids these days!!

This is the look your friend Maggie gives you when her mother has stopped giving you bits of apple fritters because it’s all gone and is kept talking so long that she forgets to keep handing you ice chips. And then this woman is not only keeping your mother much longer than she should but is now taking pictures of you in your confused state.

This is the smug look I’m given as a welcome home, I guess.

Morning view of the boulevard (please vote no on Prop A and yes on the museum tax)

Meow kitty sleeping against S. Jason this morning

Good morning, Boulevard!

Loved seeing all the love put into the goodies they had for all the families today at the Platte County Back to School Fair! There are people with such good hearts everywhere, which brings me so much joy!

Today my friend Rebecca and I went to a Back to School Fair in Platte County. We stood talking to hundreds of people ALL day! By the end of the day we had 75 people signed up for information on how to join the program. The benefits are so good, the program totally sells itself! Thanks Rebecca, for making this day so fun!

When I got home kitty was busy with a catnap.

Got a nice card of well wishes in the mail. Thanks for kind words, friend!

Evening on the boulevard (Please vote No on Prop A and Yes on the Museum Tax)


Mackenzie woke up early to ask me if I could put her hair in chopsticks for the day. She’s been attending art camp at the Good Samaritan Center and they’ve had a Japanese theme for the week thanks to our friend Shino. Mack is so interested in Japan. She loves it!

At our senior management meeting today the leadership students came in to give a report. I love that the students are always invited to our senior staff meetings to give us feedback from the students and hear what they’re planning. We’ve got great kids doing great things!

Our Center Director Bill Allen got a new Harley this week! Fancy!

This afternoon’s meeting with Kim called for a Carmelo iced coffee at The Mug.

Joined my friends at the Chamber for a Meet and Eat at Dari-B! Thanks for the shake, Tom! 

Couldn’t catch the monarch but was able to grab this little guy walking to my car!

This evening we got Chinese from Hunan. They’re the best around! They’ve even started saving their rice bags for S. Jason to make bags out of!

Tonight Mom and I have turned the dining room into a mini campaign headquarters. We feel passionate about our community’s history and the economic value that restoring that history can bring. Find more info at museumtax.com


Usual scene around the Cole household, other than us having to run to a meeting or event of some kind. I slept until 10 and probably could have even longer.

I sat around the house in pajamas for as long as possible. S. Jason made us peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes.

This is how she likes to best pass the time.

What she was working on!

The kitten has now started sleeping in Sketch’s spot on the aquarium. She keeps challenging him. It’s no wonder he’s mad at her all the time.

I’ve been going to this gas station since before people had cell phones.

Crossing over to Kansas

They just don’t build them like they used to.

Greek architecture is so cool.

This is Mackenzie’s favorite team

My moon, my man.

I started to say “Break a leg,” but then realized that’s probably not best!

She got her new Roller Warriors jersey today and her team won the first bout!

Do you see the rainbow? I tried to grab it for you!

Mackenzie got to choose where to eat for dinner. This was no surprise.

My decals are peeling off on my yeti. What should the next sticker be that S. Jason makes me?

I commissioned the help of my two favorite people in putting together my office decor at work. I’m so glad that I have them to help me all the time.

I’ve seen some of the prettiest skies standing in this parking lot.

 Until next week, keep it real, y’all!