Area Wide United Way forms youth division with area students

Monday, February 17, 2003

Recognizing the importance of youth involvement in the community's future, the Area Wide United Way has formed the Youth United Way. Three students from each area high school are participating, including Central High School, Jackson High School, Scott City High School, Notre Dame and Saxony Lutheran. The organization hopes to include more area high schools in the future.

This program will develop teens to become responsible adults through activities and programs that build character and self-confidence. The purpose is to involve area high school students in the United Way to build an understanding of community needs, instill a philanthropic spirit, and to help them realize the community impact of United Way. Funds will be allocated to address students' concerns regarding youth substance abuse, which was also identified as a need by the United Way's needs assessment.

Kathy Brown, plant manager at Procter & Gamble and United Way board member, is the board liaison to the group. The first Youth United Way meeting was held in October at the Osage Centre. The group meets monthly.

At the November meeting, the board elected officers: chair, Lisa Crain (Central High School); vice-chair, Katie Porter (Central); secretary, Jessica Diebold (Notre Dame); and treasurer, John Ray (Notre Dame). Three committees were formed, one to research and address priority needs for youth, one to organize and implement student campaigns and special events and one to identify and coordinate community service projects.

Participating students include:

Jackson: Amy Sappington, Justin Gibbs and Jessica Edwards;

Central High School: Lisa Crain, Katie Porter and Brett Ford;

Scott City: Melissa Miller, Blake Amick, and Brittany Hill;

Saxony Lutheran: Jonathan Burford, Jayson Spain and Deanna Leible;

Notre Dame: Treavor Pearman, Jessica Diebold and John Ray.

The United Way serves as the leader in uniting people and resources around health and human service issues to build a stronger and healthier community, ascertaining and addressing critical needs, linking resources with needs and offering hope and help for those who need it.

For more information, contact the Area Wide United Way at 334-9634 or visit its Web site at areawideunitedway.org.

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