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Youth Needs Assessment forum held 27 Oct 2017

'The Youth Forum was a wonderful experience. It was quite humbling and eye opening to hear from the youth as they verbalized real concerns about their community from their perspective. I was so impressed with their maturity and willingness to discuss important issues. We, as a community, have much work to do to support our youth and families.' - Debbie Cowan, Family Resource Center Coordinator from Adair Elementary School.
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By Tony Rose, Adair Co. Agent for 4-H and Youth

What happens when you put a large group of adults and teenagers in the same room and ask them to identify issues that are affecting youth in the community? That is what Tony Rose, Adair County Cooperative Extension Service 4-H and Youth Development Agent wanted to investigate when he planned a Youth Needs Assessment meeting for Adair County on October 27, 2017.


On this date, twenty-five teenagers, mostly middle school and high school students, assembled with fifteen adults representing Adair County schools, health care, law enforcement, government etc. to answer a series of questions that guided them in identifying priority needs for youth in the community. The program was facilitated by members of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment's Department of Community & Economic Development.

The adults and youth were initially segregated into different rooms to identify positive things about the community and also the biggest challenges affecting youth. The two groups then came together to compare their lists, look for common themes and explain their perspective. Priority needs were then developed as youth and adults selected the most pressing issues. There was a lot of great discussions about the issues that are affecting the youth in our community and the youth were not shy about voicing their concerns, fears and wishes for their community.

The issues of the youth within the community also belong to the adults and the Youth Needs Assessment Forum was the beginning of an important discussion between adults and youth regarding community issues. The next step is to form a dedicated group, youth and adults, to begin the work of finding solutions to the issues that were identified.

"The Youth Forum was a wonderful experience. It was quite humbling and eye opening to hear from the youth as they verbalized real concerns about their community from their perspective. I was so impressed with their maturity and willingness to discuss important issues. We, as a community, have much work to do to support our youth and families". - --Debbie Cowan, Family Resource Center Coordinator from Adair Elementary School.

Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.


This story was posted on 2017-10-31 11:22:23
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At Youth Needs Assessment conference



2017-10-31 - Adair County Elementary School (ACES), 870 Indian Drive, Columbia, KY - Photo by Tony Rose.
High School students who attended are, not necessarily in order and all may not be pictured: Jenna Rodgers, Andrea Smith, Devin Morris, Summer Cross, Daezon Scholl, Rebecca Heuser, Guillermo Hernandez, Ivory Krapf, Austin Krapf, Sky Baker, Layndon Carter, Blane Frazier, Natalie Taylor, Baylor Giles, Mackenzie Coomer, and Owen Grant. Adults in picture are Steve Burton, Steve Turner, Robbie Harmon, Harrison Moss, Bam Carney, John David Picket, Jamie White,

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