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Topeka’s Top “20 Under 40” 

Topeka’s Top “20 Under 40” award honors members of the Topeka/Shawnee County Community for their commitment and contributions both professionally and personally.  Each spring, members of the greater Topeka community are invited to submit nominations for the “20 Under 40” award and then nominees are sent an invitation to formally apply for the honor.  After the application deadline close, a selection committee of more than 20 Topeka community leaders spend countless hours reviewing every submission. Each year the program receives more than 200 nominations and over 100 applications, including two letters of recommendation per submission - a new requirement for applicants in 2014.  The decision to select only 20 honorees out of such a large pool of worthy candidates each year continues to become an increasingly difficult task. 


“On behalf of the ‘20 Under 40’ Selection and Steering Committees and Jayhawk Area Council, thank you for the incredible response to this award.  We are in awe of the talent and accomplishments of our young leaders in the Topeka community,” stated Nick Xidis, Vice President of Finance for the Jayhawk Area Council Board of Directors. “We are excited to recognize our Honorees through an event that provides financial support for the more than 6,000 youth involved in Scouting in the Jayhawk Area Council.  This includes critical funds that help the Scouts of the Highland District participate in year-round programming and summer camp experiences. The Highland District serves Scouts who are the most at risk to not succeed due to economic and family situations. Through their scouting experience we aim instill the values of good conduct, respect for others, and honesty that are the foundation of tomorrow's leaders.”

The 2015 Honorees will be recognized at a banquet on Thursday, November 12th, at the Ramada Downtown Convention Center.  

How the Program Works:

Community members and leaders nominate individuals who will be over the age of 18 but under the age of 40 at the time of the banquet. Nominations will close on May 30th. Visit our Nominations page for more information on who to nominate.

Once nominated, individuals are invited to apply for the honor. At the time of notification they are also informed of an information session with past honorees and past selection committee members who speak about best practices and offer tips that helped them with their application. 

Applications must be received by the Jayhawk Area Council by Midnight on June 30th. 

Applications are then distributed to the Selection Committee members for evaluation. Following a meeting in early August, announcements of the new class of honorees are made the second or third week of August. 

E-mail Erin Aldridge, Development Director, at for more information.

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