Youth Leadership in Limestone County


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This presentation highlights the activities of a grant facilitated through the Limestone County Office of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. The 24 youth participated in leadership forums and traveled to actual sites to observe career opportunities in agriculture and family & consumer sciences.

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Youth Leadership in Limestone County

  1. 1. Limestone County, Alabama Betty Ann Broman County Extension Coordinator Limestone County Alabama Cooperative Extension System
  2. 2. Funded to support local issues, particularly  involving educational opportunities Written by local Extension Office (other grants  were written by non-Extension people) $14,460 was received to implement grant 
  3. 3. Population of approximately 73,000 residents  Located in the Tennessee Valley of North Alabama  Limestone County School System (6 high schools)  Athens City School System (1 high school)  Two Private Schools (K-12)  559 Square miles  Commuter County to Huntsville  Blend of Agriculture and residential environments;  some manufacturing Growing Population base 
  4. 4. Betty Ann Broman, County Extension  Coordinator Marian Beck, Regional Extension Agent for 4-H  and Youth Development Verona Hargrave, Agent Assistant for 4-H &  Youth Programs
  5. 5. Leadership and Career Opportunities for youth  interested in Agricultural and/or Family and Consumer Sciences education or careers (loosely defined) Give youth opportunities to see first-hand the  mechanisms and relationships between education, agriculture, family, and the Alabama economy
  6. 6. Experience agriculture enterprises in parts of  Alabama that are different from those practiced in the Tennessee Valley Experience first-hand opportunities that others  do not have the chance to see Build relationships with other teen leaders  Expose youth to „different‟ business  opportunities Help youth understand the importance of  „thinking‟ and decision-making skills
  7. 7. Involve school administrators and FCS/Agri-  Science Teachers Select up to 24 sophomores and juniors  through application process Conduct 6 leadership forums (3 spring, 3 fall)  Two summer one-day trips  One five-day trip throughout Alabama  Graduation 
  8. 8. January – February 2008: Select participants  through application process March – May: Spring Leadership forums  June 2008: Two one-day trips in North  Alabama July 2008: One week trip throughout Alabama  September – November 2008  November 22, 2008: Graduation 
  9. 9. Activity-based   Team Building  Trust  Leadership  Setting Priorities  Setting Boundaries/Rules  Diversity
  10. 10. Lecture & Activity Oriented  Continued Teamwork  Risk & Rewards  Management & Planning  Creative Thinking  Leadership & Growth 
  11. 11. North Alabama Venues (Close to home!)  Educational Opportunities  Agricultural Operations  Family & Consumer Science Opportunities  Entrepreneurial Showcases  Community Investment/Tourism  Research at work 
  12. 12. Lunch courtesy Limestone County Cattlemen’s Association
  13. 13. Isom’s Orchards (Large commercial peach & apple operation; other fruits & vegetables also grown, Including strawberries)
  14. 14. (Home entrepreneurs can ‘rent’ commercial kitchen facilities to produce home-made goods for commercial sale)
  15. 15. (Vegetables grown in water medium and sold to local restaurants)
  16. 16. Tuscumbia Community Development Project. Youth observed vendors and participated in food demonstrations – and a little fun.
  17. 17. July 14-17, 2008  Twenty Youth; three adult chaperones  Venues throughout the state of Alabama were  selected to show depth of Alabama economy: a blend of education, agriculture, family & consumer sciences, research, industry, and tourism Alabama Power hosted a Leadership Forum on  the final morning
  18. 18. Most fresh restaurant produce in Alabama goes through this facility
  19. 19. Training room orientation and overview: Plant was noisy and no cameras were allowed in production area!
  20. 20. Discussion focused not only on agriculture, but on job/career decisions. Two former Extension employees – now employed by Farmer’s Federation - led the discussions.)
  21. 21. No cameras allowed inside plant!
  22. 22. Revitalization of downtown Montgomery
  23. 23. Located in Birmingham – Trains professional chefs
  24. 24. The importance of youth working and learning  as a group The lack of exposure many of the youth have to  real-life experiences The enthusiasm of groups (education, industry,  etc.) to host this type of youth group The impact of networking on the group  How the youth learned to „appreciate‟ each  other
  25. 25. Be prepared; Be prepared; Be Prepared!  Communications with parents   Communications with Schools  Having all the details about payment worked out in advance  Hosts should know purpose of trip Good selection of participants is important  Best candidates for this type of venture are not  always your top students
  26. 26. “It showed me that I may end up in a career that I  didn’t expect to be in, and I may need to make revisions to my educational plans.” “This has really opened my eyes to all the different  things there are to do in life.” “I think the trip opened my eyes to all the work that  goes into everything we use. I am now more aware about what farmers are going through with their land, crops and animals. I will try to spread the things I learned so that others will know what’s going on in our world.”
  27. 27. “One thing that stood out to me about our trip was  how we got access to those places because of connections. It showed me that impressions are important. It mad me bore open-minded about career choices. Hearing everyone talk about how they got where they are today provided to me that you can change careers and still be successful.” “I learned to trust, depend on and how to take  control in a respective way. You have to trust people even if you just met them.”
  28. 28. “Although I wasn’t here for this reason, I learned something  that will benefit me: I learned that you shouldn’t judge people by the way they look or their social status. You should be willing to get to know everyone for who they are, not look down on them because they seem a little crazy or weird. This past year I’ve had the privilege to get to know a lot of different people. I wasn’t in my comfort zone all of the time but I’ve learned that there will be many times in my future where I won’t be. I’m glad I went on these trips, especially the week-long trip. You really learn how people truly are by living with them. I am glad to say that through this program I have new friends that will last a lifetime. I am ready to take on college now with an open mind and new outlook on the way people are.”
  29. 29. Betty Ann Broman County Extension Coordinator Limestone County Alabama Cooperative Extension System