TOPEKA, Kan. – If one person can make a difference, think what 209 can do?
Leah Kimzey, a high school senior from Fredonia, Kan., who often is teased about wearing what she calls “crazy socks,” now has others – make that 100s of others – doing the same.
Kimzey, is a Kansas 4-H member and member of the Kansas 4-H Youth Leadership Council, a group of 20 teen leaders charged with planning and leading opportunities for youth to grow as young leaders, practice citizenship and build community by serving their communities.
Youth Council projects include hosting Campference, a summer camp/conference for teens; the Kansas 4-H Youth Leadership Forum at Rock Springs 4-H Center (Junction City, Kan.) each November, and Citizenship in Action (CIA), a two-day conference offering opportunities for youth to learn about state government in Topeka, Kan. in February.
Though new to the planning team, Kimzey noted a full CIA schedule of caucuses, discussions about issues facing state leaders, meetings with legislators, and the absence of a citizenship project.
Since a dance is typically a favorite at 4-H events, she proposed a sock hop, with a request that the 209 delegates attending the conference donate socks as admission to the dance.
The idea proved a hit with the planning group and teens attending the conference, including some who brought packages of socks.
As a result, 740 pairs of socks plus cash donations to fund 900 meals were presented to Mark DeGroff, director of communications of the Topeka Rescue Mission, which serves residents in need. DeGroff also served as a conference presenter.
“It’s awesome,” said Kimzey, who credits the Council’s enthusiasm for the idea as a large part in the project’s success, and for giving her career goal – majoring in agri-business, leadership studies and public relations at Kansas State University – a boost of confidence.
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.
Story by: Nancy Petersonnancyp@ksu.eduK-State Research & Extension News
Rhonda Atkinson is at 785-532-5881