`Conversation on Youth' comes to Hood River&nbsp

Teen brothers invite `the Power of Youth'

By LOEHN and BYRNDEN RAWDIN MORRIS

For the Hood River News

Within the next 3-5 years, what are the most important actions we can take to create the future we want for youth in our community?

This question, being asked by the National 4-H Council, is the subject of conversations currently being held in communities throughout the nation, including one on Jan. 10 in Hood River. (See sidebar.)

We see three main benefits of participating in these conversations, both personal and for the community: First, the opportunity to create a vision for our community that works for all; Second, active participation in working to create change and implement new ideas; Third, meeting people we might not otherwise come in contact with.

One facet of the conversations is "The Power of YOUth campaign" designed to involve young people and adults in millions of hours of combined community service and leadership across the nation.

The "Power of YOUth" is a pledge YOU make that will lead to changes in yourself, our community, our state and our world.

Pledges can be simple: If you like to draw, pledge to teach someone to draw. If you play sports, mentor a younger player, or pledge to reach out and get to know one new person a week. If you are more motivated, pledge to work on a larger issue, one that affects your community or your state.

When you have decided what you want to pledge visit: www.4hcentennial.org and add your pledge to the thousands of other pledges already listed by youth and adults all over the United States.

Enjoy the Power of YOUth and feel the difference.

If you would like to participate in an ongoing public discussion, please send your ideas and opinions to the Hood River News; attention editor Kirby Neumann-Rea.

These conversations offer the opportunity to engage in vigorous, respectful dialogue of all opinions and ideas. If you like someone's idea and are willing to work with them, support them or in some way join them in making it happen, make a Power of Youth pledge.

Several ideas generated from recently held mini-conversations:

* More transportation opportunities for youth.

* School Improvement i.e. Career classes;

* More life skills classes; Portfolios in place of testing;

* A Community Center;

* Teens serving on community boards;

* Hood River "preservation" from large corporations.

Three levels of conversation will take place on this issue, local, state and national.

This a great opportunity for youth in this community to express their feelings and opinions at any or all of the levels and a great chance for adults to help youth implement their ideas.

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Brothers Loehn and Brynden Rawdin-Morris are active in 4-H. They live in Mt. Hood and serve on the coordinating committee for the Jan. 10 conversation.

Join the Conversation on Youth

How to make a difference in the lives of young people.

This overriding issue is the one to be addressed in a local conversation on Jan. 10. 4-H youth and adults, Positive Youth Development Ambassadors, and youth board members from Hood River County Commission on Children and Families will coordinate and facilitate the conversation, which is open to anyone who wishes to participate.

The conversations will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Hood River Valley Christian Church, Jan. 17 at Oregon State University in Corvallis, and Feb. 28 to March 3 in Washington, D.C.

The Hood River News welcomes typewritten submissions on community concerns from people of all ages.

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