Well Connected Community members from Meigs County, Tennessee delivered a panel presentation on “Youth Volunteers Leading Community Change” as part of the National Extension Conference on Volunteerism in Billings, Montana from May 14-16, 2019.
Meagen Brown, Extension Agent for 4-H and Family Consumer Science, led the group which included Connye Rowland, Community Health Coordinator for Meigs County Public Schools, and 4-H teen leaders Keyshawn Tatum and Austin Blackmon. Together they told the story of their Well Connected Community project that went from having no teens involved to teens taking the lead. National 4-H Healthy Living Project Director, JoAnne Leatherman, set the stage for their story by telling about Well Connected Communities where 13 pilot states are working with 3 communities each to develop Community Wellness Councils and address a prioritized leading health issue.
There were 275 Extension staff and community partners from all over the country to learn best practices and research related to recruiting, training, recognizing and sustaining volunteers in Cooperative Extension Programs at the biannual event. Besides attending the conference, the Meigs County group visited Yellowstone National Park, and learned much about Western US culture and geography.