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The 411: Youth

Local students attend Youth Leadership Conference

Local students attend Youth Leadership Conference
Taylor Penshorn (from left), Mariel McFadin, and Dalton Dennehy of La Vernia gather to discuss the topics presented at the Texas Farm Bureau’s Youth Leadership Conference held at Angelo State University June 6-10.

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July 6, 2011
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SAN ANGELO -- Taylor Penshorn, Mariel McFadin, and Dalton Dennehy of La Vernia are among the students who attended the Texas Farm Bureau’s 48th annual Youth Leadership Conference, held June 6-10 at Angelo State University. The Wilson County Farm Bureau sponsored these students, who joined more than 280 high school juniors and seniors from more than 125 counties across the state.

The purpose of the conference is to provide the students with a better understanding of their American heritage and the capitalistic free enterprise system, and to inspire leadership development, said Ervin Kotzur, president of Wilson County Farm Bureau.

During the weeklong event, three areas are emphasized: patriotism, responsibility, and leadership. Students discuss topics such as the free enterprise system, constitutional government, Americanism, leadership, and goal setting, and are encouraged to meet with school and civic groups upon their return home to share what they’ve learned.

A representative of Angelo State University welcomed students to campus at Monday’s opening session. Afterwards, Vernie R. Glasson, executive director of Texas Farm Bureau, presented “Farm Bureau -- Your Host.”

James Frank presented sessions on “Basics of Free Enterprise.” Ronald Trowbridge, former assistant dean at Hillsdale College in Michigan, presented two-part sessions on “The Constitution,” and Gary Evans, a registered investment advisor, offered advice on “Managing Your Money.”

Lou Kennedy, a professional development consultant, led a session on “Professionalism in Life” and Janet Beard, owner and president of Harvest Drugs, discussed “Free Enterprise in America.” Sandra Grant, a communications instructor at Midwestern State University, presented sessions on “Interpersonal Communication Skills,” and Curtis Childers shared his personal experience of “Overcoming Life’s Challenges.” In addition, the students participated in a program called “Congressional Insight,” which allowed them to simulate a congressional office and election.

At Thursday evening’s banquet, Katie Bonner, Texas Farm Bureau’s 2010 Free Enterprise Speech Contest winner, presented her award-winning speech as part of “Farm Bureau Scholarship Opportunities.” Neal Jeffrey, a motivational speaker, shared his personal message of “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”

Students who complete the Youth Leadership Conference and have given a speech on free enterprise to at least five groups will have taken the first step toward qualifying for the Free Enterprise Speech contest, which awards more than $19,000 in scholarships.

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