Four northwestern Ohio high school students took first place in the 2017 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge finals for their policy proposal that would decrease the amount of paperwork for Ohio students who require an Individual Education Plan.
Sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio 4-H and Ohio FFA, the challenge brings together youths ages 14 to 18 from around the state to discuss community concerns and then work together to propose policies and programs to solve the issues.
The 2017 winning team members are Kalie Anderson and Marleigh Kerr of Lucas County and Cory Johnson and McCormick Warncke of Fulton County, with mentor Hannah Farr of Paulding County. The team members will each receive $250 for finishing first in the competition.
The challenge started in the spring when groups met to learn about public policy issues and began planning their proposals. A preliminary contest narrowed the field down to four teams, which competed in the finals 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.
Other finalists and their proposals:
Second: Noor Alshafie and Carson Fulks of Franklin County, Kayla Kramer and Ellen Riley of Delaware County and Cassady Neviska of Morrow/Knox County, with mentor Shaye Creamer of Hardin County placed for their proposed policy of a year-long high school diversity class. The team plans to pilot the program at six central Ohio high schools and is looking to gain support from the Ohio Department of Education.
Third: Jesseca Housel, Sharon Millard and Rachel Myers of Ashtabula County, with mentor Meghan Gallagher of Ashland County, placed for their proposal to promote state legislation that calls for local intervention teams to identify the root problem of school truancy in communities.
Fourth: Audrey Heitzman of Warren County placed for her proposal that the valuation period for the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) program be shortened from three years to one year to better reflect current market trends.
A total of $1,800 was awarded to this year’s team finalists.
Editors: A high resolution photo is available to accompany this story.
Caption: This year’s first place team of Kalie Anderson and Marleigh Kerr of Lucas County and Cory Johnson and McCormick Warncke of Fulton County are pictured with OFBF director of leadership programming, Melinda Witten.