2016 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge winners named

A promotional piece developed around The Game of Life that will help bring life skills, especially financial literacy, back into schools earned Meghan Gallagher of Ashland County and Cassandra Dickhof of Knox County the first place award in the 2016 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge finals.

Sponsored by Ohio 4-H, Ohio FFA and Ohio Farm Bureau, the challenge 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.

The contest started in March when groups met to learn about public policy issues and began planning their proposals. Then in May, eight teams competed to advance in the semifinals, with three teams advancing to the finals, which were held during the Ohio State Fair.

The teams were judged on their public policy proposals dealing with a specific issue or problem. In the final competition, the teams described the steps necessary to have their public policy proposal adopted by the appropriate government authorities. Scholarships were given to each participant based on their team’s placing: First – $250, second – $150 and third – $50.

Judges for the finals were Sereana Howard Dresbach, Dresbach Consulting; Whittney Bowers, director of grassroots and political outreach, Ohio Farm Bureau; and Jack Irvin, senior director of state and national policy, Ohio Farm Bureau.  

Other finalists and their proposals:

Second: Bryanna Buerkle, Brittany Rhoads and Whitney Seitz from Highland County and Sarah Hoog from Clermont County for their composting proposal tackling food waste. Their proposal supports a community garden at a homeless shelter.

Third: Riley Evans, Fayette County; Sydney Malone, Fairfield County; Simon Murdock, Perry County; and Carlee Stewart, Pickaway County for their proposal requiring character development and other life skills education in schools bi-weekly.

Pictured are, top from left, Sydney Malone, Simon Murdock, Bryanna Buerkle, and Whitney Seitz and bottom, from left, Brittany Rhoads, Sarah Hoog, Cassandra Dickhof and Meghan Gallagher.