CORVALLIS, Ore. – Seven Oregon high school 4-H students will travel far from home this summer to sharpen their leadership skills, joining a delegation of 30 youths and five chaperones on a four-week trip to Mongolia, where they will live with host families and do community service.
The Oregon students are members of the Oregon State University 4-H Youth Development Program.
For most of the stay, June 16 through July 15, each delegate will live with a host family to experience the Mongolian way of life. The students also will learn about environmental issues such as renewable energy, water quality and land restoration and reclamation.
For Erynne van Zee, a sophomore at Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis, the experience fits well with her interests in the environment. "Part of the focus will be on land preservation," she said. "Mining and overgrazing are big issues in Mongolia."
The students will participate in community service projects in and around the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. Jaden Bales, who attends Imbler Charter Schools, said he is looking forward to the three-day Mongolian festival of Naadam and its horse riding and wrestling competitions. "I'm way excited about getting to know people who live worlds away," he said.
This leadership and cultural immersion opportunity was developed by the University of Wyoming 4-H Youth Development Program in partnership with the Mongolian 4-H Youth Organization. The OSU 4-H Youth Development Program is a cooperator for the Mongolia trip.
Students were selected through an application and interview process from the 13-state western region of land-grant universities and its Cooperative Extension System. Finalists are from Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Enhancing Global Perspectives in Youth is funded by a $267,434 grant from the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.
In support of Mongolia's newly established 4-H program, the delegation will take children’s books and horse helmets to the Mongolian 4-H students. Helmets were donated by The Tack Box, Corvallis; Deschutes County 4-H Horse Leaders, and Washington County 4-H Horse Leaders. Books were donated by Carol Lauritzen, an education professor at Eastern Oregon University, and students in Ontario's Three Rivers Community School.
Zachary Lauritzen of Corvallis, a social studies teacher at Crescent Valley High School, is one of the adult chaperones selected to accompany the delegation. Oregon youth delegates and their local contacts include:
Buxton: Emily Cackler, Banks High School, contact Patrick Willis, 503-821-1120
Corvallis: Michael Boggess, Crescent Valley High School; Samuel Greydanus, Crescent Valley High School; Erynne van Zee, Crescent Valley High School, contact Maggie Livesay, 541-766-3550
Imbler: Jaden Bales, Imbler Charter Schools, contact Carole Smith, 541-963-1010
Medford: Nicholas Morales, South Medford High School, contact Anne Manlove, 541-776-7371
Prineville: Shelby Worthing, Crook County High School, contact Jeremy Green, 541-447-6228