By Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University.
Let’s go to a city council meeting. City council members are listening to a presentation about perceptions of their community. Is this presentation being made by an expensive consultant from halfway across the country? No, this presentation is being made by a local group whose average age is 17 – and they might be thinking about their senior prom. This was part of an innovative program called Youth Community Perceptions which is designed to gain input from youth and engage them with their community.
Susan Schlichting is a 4-H youth development agent for the K-State Research and Extension Cottonwood District, serving Ellis and Barton Counties. Susan helped pilot this new program called Youth Community Perceptions.
The program originated from Kansas PRIDE Program discussions about how to get youth more engaged in their hometowns. The PRIDE Program is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020, so this is another in our series of profiles highlighting PRIDE communities.