Four Ohio Youth Capital Challenge teams will compete in the finals of the contest, which engages young people in community development citizenship. Sponsored by Ohio 4-H, Ohio FFA and Ohio Farm Bureau, the contest brings together youths age 14-18 from around the state to discuss community issues and concerns and then work together to propose policies and programs to solve the issues.
In May, 10 teams competed to advance to the finals, which will be held Aug. 1 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the Ohio State Fair in the Lausche Building. The teams were judged on their public policy proposals dealing with a specific issue or problem. In the final competition, the teams will describe the steps necessary to have their public policy proposal adopted by the appropriate government authorities.
Judges were Larry Long, former director of the Ohio County Commissioners Association; Sereana Howard Dresbach of Dresbach Consulting, and Gwen Wolford, director of government affairs for Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Winning teams and their proposals:
Natalie Pavlick of Hamilton County, Tyler White and Mercedes Woodson both of Montgomery County and Leah Brown of Warren County. Their proposal is to educate students about agriculture at a younger age and secure continued funding for the 4-H Agri-Science in the City program in Cleveland and Cincinnati.
Rachael Herring of Wyandot County, Shaye Creamer of Hardin County, Katie Conley of Wyandot County, Jordan Furer of Hardin County and Alec Ogg of Wyandot County. Their “Fitness Out of the Classroom” proposal is focused on getting Fitbits for eighth graders in six schools to track their fitness and see if fitness improves based on having a Fitbit.
Emily Kanney of Richland County and Jacob Serio of Morrow County. They want to improve roads in Richland County and propose redistribution of the gas tax so more of it goes to road maintenance and improvement.
Strecy Labatte of Franklin County and Natalyn Landis of Fairfield County. Their proposal addresses drop-out rates. They suggested funding for after-school programs in every county including an after-school educator to implement programs free for all students or require every school in the state offer the New Directions After School Program.