The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Iron County group presents at Missouri conference


March 6, 2018

Submitted photo

HURLEY JUNIORS Tabby Morello, right, and Riley Kangas talk to participants at the Missouri Youth Civil Leader Summit over the weekend after the two were part of an Iron County presentation on the county's youth first impressions survey process.


Hurley - Iron County's success at promoting youth leadership opportunities continues to gain attention, with a group from Hurley recently traveling to Missouri to present at a conference.

Iron County 4-H Youth Development Agent Neil Klemme took two Hurley juniors - Tabby Morello and Riley Kangas - and a 4-H youth development educator from Marquette County to present on Iron County's youth first impressions survey over the weekend at the Missouri Youth Civil Leader Summit over the weekend.

"We were there because of the youth first impressions stuff we've done over the years," Klemme said.

"Tabby and Riley both were part of one of those teams that went to Montello in Marquette County. They had asked us if we would come down and present on that and talk about that and how that's made changes in the community or how youth voice has become more of a part (of Iron County)."

The first impressions survey concept involves teams from similar communities participating in an exchange where they visit and complete a survey rating various aspects of the other community as a way to provide feedback on how a place appears to outsiders.

Klemme said he adapted the concept for young people a couple years ago and has since done several exchanges with Iron County students.

The Missouri conference was put on by two University of Missouri Extension-sponsored groups - the state's 4-H program and the Missouri Community Betterment Program.

Klemme said the young people attending the conference were generally involved in service projects in their communities; including organizing animal therapy opportunities at a local nursing home, making welcome baskets for visiting foreign exchange students and building a tiny house community for homeless veterans in the area.

Iron County's presentation began with an activity to teach the participants about the various "community capitals" of a municipality.

"What are the things that make up a community? What are things that have to be there to build a strong community," Klemme said, explaining the concept.

This was followed by an examination of the various assets those attending the conference had in their communities, and involved looking for both strengths and opportunities for change.

Finally Klemme said the presentation discussed the first impression process itself.

Along with attending the conference, Klemme said he helped with a grant that would fund three first impression exchanges in Missouri.

Finally talking about the survey process itself, Klemme wrote a grant for Missouri to be able to hold three first impression exchanges between six communities, awaiting word on whether it has been award.

"We were looking for communities that were interested in doing this, so we were just there to teach them about first impressions," Klemme said.

Iron County's presentation was well received, Klemme said, with many participants talking to the Hurley students afterwards.

"A lot of kids came up afterwards and said, 'So how do we get our community on that list? How do we get to do that because that sounds like fun and sounds interesting,'" Klemme said. "A lot of the adults came up afterwards and got my contact information, so I'm going to be in touch with them so we can do that."

While the presentation was an opportunity for those in Missouri to learn about what Iron County is doing, Klemme said the Hurley students also benefitted from the experience.

Klemme joked while they had fun at the conference, he was confident they also learned something as it provided them with a chance to see the leadership opportunities other young people have undertaken and what is possible.

He said it was also a great opportunity for them to promote their experiences.

"Their ability to represent Iron County and the cool stuff Iron County (is doing) - the impact young people can have in Iron County - is impressive," Klemme said.


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2017