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One of the pressing issues for rural communities today is the loss of young residents. Many rural communities are currently working on ways to attract and retain youth in rural areas. One of the main strategies thought to attract & retain youth is "actively engaging and consulting youth in community development".1

Here is a video on a technique, developed by the Orton Family Foundation's Heart & Soul Project, currently being used to engage teens in Bellevue, Iowa.  Perhaps it is something your community would like to try.

"In Bellevue, Iowa, a recent survey found that nearly two-thirds of teens picture themselves living in the Bellevue area beyond high school, yet only 15 percent said they had been asked for their input about the future of the community. As part of Bellevue's Heart & Soul project, teens got a chance to participate through a workshop and town hall meeting. Hear what they have to say in this video."2

Find the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7W7-2wOi2Y


1Engaging Young People – Revitalizing Rural Communities by Craig Schroeder Director of Youth Engagement Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, May 2014

2This video and related text are being posted with the permission of The Orton Family Foundation, 120 Graham Way, Suite 126, Shelburne, VT 05482. www.orton.org