Rural Nevada teens visit UNR for leadership conference
Workshops, activities focused on helping become community leaders
More than 100 teenagers from rural Nevada were be on campus at the University of Nevada, Reno for a couple of days this summer for a program that trains youth leaders interested in community service projects.
The Summer Youth Leadership Summit is part of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Engaging Youth Serving Communities program. The program is in the second year of a two-year grant from National 4-H Council.
Program leader Jessica Angle said most of the youth summit participants who came to UNR Aug. 6-7 were from Lyon County communities, although many teens were from Hawthorne, Pyramid Lake, Schurz and Virginia City. Participants were all from 14 to 19 years old.
During their two-day summit, the youth were involved in a whirlwind of activities designed to help them understand better how improve their home communities when they return. Most have already identified a specific need in their communities and are busy carrying out projects to address those needs. The summit gave them the skills and information they needed to succeed, Angle said.
"They’ve figured out what kind of project they want to do and now they’ll have some of the skills and tools they need to be successful," Angle said. "We had sessions on teambuilding, public speaking, higher education, budget and personal finance and leadership, and it was all designed to make them better prepared to accomplish their goals."
A key part of the summit was the community service projects participants performed during their time in Reno. Some participants volunteered at Rancho San Rafael Park, where they planted trees and moved sod, while others worked at the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission and the mission’s warehouse.