COLUMBUS, Ohio — A plan to educate young students about agriculture and fund 4-H agriscience programs in major cities earned Leah Brown, Warren County, Natalie Pavlick, Hamilton County, and Tyler White and Mercedes Woodson, Montgomery County, the first place award in the 2015 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge finals.
Sponsored by Ohio 4-H, Ohio FFA and Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the challenge brings together youths age 14-18 from around the state to discuss community issues and concerns and then work together to propose policies and programs to solve the issues.
The contest started in March when groups met to learn about public policy issues and began planning their proposals. On May 10, four teams advanced to the finals, which were held during the Ohio State Fair.
The teams were judged on their public policy proposals dealing with a specific issue or problem. In the final competition, the teams described the steps necessary to have their public policy proposal adopted by the appropriate government authorities.
Scholarships were given to each participant based on their team’s placing: first, $250; second, $150; third, $50; and fourth, $25.
Natalyn Landis, Fairfield County, received second place for her proposal addressing dropout rates. It suggested funding for after-school programs in every county including an after-school educator to implement programs free for all students or requiring every school in the state offer the New Directions After School Program.
Emily Kanney, Richland County, and Jacob Serio, Morrow County, received third place with their proposal to improve roads in Richland County and proposed redistribution of the gas tax — with more of it going to road maintenance and improvement.
Fourth place went to Katie Conley, Rachael Herring and Alec Ogg, Wyandot County, and Shaye Creamer and Jordan Furer, Ridgemont High School, for their “Fitness Out of the Classroom” proposal. It focused on getting Fitbits for eighth graders in six schools to track their fitness and see if it improves based on having a Fitbit.