Rural Community Alliance's annual conference was held Saturday, July 19 at Ozark Heritage Arts Center & Museum in Leslie with over 100 members present. Events included a narrated walking tour of Leslie to see the town's impressive revitalization efforts, presentations by Paron 4-H youth, a session to set RCA's policy agenda for the coming year, and a performance by the Fish Hook Theater of Elaine.
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Garland Yates of Mobilizing Communities, and consultant for Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, enjoyed a recent visit to Leslie along with RCA staff. Garland was able to visit with Revitalization Project Leader Talitha Hardin and Arts & Heritage Focus Group Leader Adrienne LaFargue as well as some of the business owners in Leslie.
Rural Community Alliance is excited to begin work with the youth in several of our rural communities across the state!
Youth Empowerment Networks (YEN) will be doing service projects that benefit their schools and communities. Starter grants of $500 will be made available to the groups to help get them started. The YEN’s are also encouraged to ask community businesses and individuals to “match funds” to help provide even more opportunities for service projects within their community.
Our desire for the YEN program is to provide the youth with a way to actively serve their schools and communities.
We believe that through involvement with the YEN, students will:
- Grow to love their communities even more.
- See the importance of serving others and putting others before self.
- Recognize the value of the rural way of life and the need to protect it.
We’re very proud of the youth that have already committed to the program. Our first YEN was formed in the Greater Lead Hill area. They’re doing a great job, and we know there are great things to come from these youth and their desire to serve the community! Within just a matter of weeks, the youth had already secured a personal donation and a “matching” donation from the local Arvest Bank. (Way to go girls!)
We plan to have 7 YEN’s in various parts of the state before the end of 2010.
Check back soon for more news on these wonderful young people!