Leadership At Any Age!

By Ameshia Cross

Student leadership is something I hold near and dear to my heart. As a high school student, I served as president of my school’s environmental club and started a conservation group. I also actively participated in student convocations spreading the word about environmental issues and how young people can make a difference. My leadership and political skills helped me when I formed a committee to write to my state legislators concerning environmental impacts of human activity. These days, I am glad to discover that I am not the only one who knows how powerful a teenager’s voice can be.

The Michigan 4-H Youth Conservation Council is a group of 15 high school students from across the state. These students were chosen from 4-H groups within their localities and given the task of choosing an environmental issue to focus on in Michigan. This year the council is focusing on wetland conservation. The students have already developed a plan of action that includes a written report that addresses the needs of the region and the communities it comprises. Additionally, the students came together to work on recommendations for change…These are some organized kids! This is a group who not only see a problem that they want to fix, they are crafting solutions and working to make sure that these solutions are heard by the right people.

Based on the recommendations and reports the students have drafted, the students are presenting some proposed policies about wetlands conversation to Michigan’s Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Environment, and Great Lakes on April 28, in Lansing, MI. These teens are proving that age doesn’t matter when it comes to leadership.

About the author: Ameshia Cross joined the EPA in December as a STEP intern in the Air and Radiation Division in Chicago. She has worked for numerous community organizations, holds seats on youth education boards, and is active in politics. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis on environmental policy and legislation

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