KY 4-H aims to create changemakers through 33rd Annual Issues Conference

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Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 5:40 PM EST
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LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - High schoolers from across the state gathered this week in London to come up with solutions to problems their communities may be facing.

“Their purpose here is to identify issues in their community, how to create a plan of action for their local community and how to implement and then evaluate and sustain those programs,” said Charles Stamper, Extension Special Projects Coordinator for the KY 4-H Development Program.

The 33rd Annual Kentucky 4-H Issues Conference took place at the J.M. Feltner 4-H Camp in London.

“It is a really great way to improve your public speaking skills, improve your problem-solving skills and just address issues that are prevalent in your community,” said Chantel Osterloh, an Issues Conference delegate.

This event gives teen 4-H members the opportunity to address and find solutions to local issues like mental health and improving the foster care system, among other topics.

“Its really cool because I see a lot of kids find their passions here and being able to talk about those passions that they might not be able to talk about it, so its just been really awesome to see,” said Lucas Arnold, Issues Conference Co-Chair.

Within the Issues Conference, the delegates are split into groups to create a course of action and a presentation surrounding an issue of their choice.

“The young people that are here are our future,” Stamper said. “They’re the ones that are gonna be taking care of us, and we need to make sure that they have the skills to create good stuff in their local communities.”

Each delegate will leave the conference with the opportunity to apply for a grant through KY 4-H to help fund an issues project within their own community.