Local student, Brooklyn McGinty attended the Texas Farm Bureau's 48th annual Youth Leadership Conference held at Angelo State University, June 6-190 . Brooklyn was sponsored by the San Saba County Farm Bureau. She joined more than 280 high school juniors and seniors from over 125 counties across the state.
The purpose of the conference is to provide the students with a better understanding of their American heritage, the capitalistic free enterprise system, and to inspire leadership development, according to Owen Parks, president of the San Saba County Farm Bureau.
During the week long event, three areas are emphasized: Patriotism, Responsibility and Leadership. Students discuss topics such as the free enterprise system, constitutional government, Americanism, leadership and goal setting, and are encouraged to meet with school and civic groups upon their return home to share what they have learned.
A representative of Angelo State University welcomed students to campus at Monday's opening session. Afterwards, Vernie R. Glasson, executive director of Texas Farm Bureau, presented "Farm Bureau - Your Host."
James Frank presented sessions on "Basics of Free Enterprise," Ronald Trowbridge, former assistant to dean at Hillsdale College in Michigan, presented two-part sessions on "The Constitution," and Gary Evans, a registered investment advisor, offered advice on "Managing Your Money."
Lou Kennedy, a professional development consultant, led a session on " Professionalism in Life" and Janet Beard, owner and president of Harvest Drugs, discussed "Free Enterprise in America." Sandra Grant, a communications instructor at Midwestern State University, presented sessions on "Interpersonal Communication Skills," as well as Curtis Childers, who shared his personal experience of "Overcoming Life's Challenges." In addition, the students participated in a program called "Congressional Insight," which allowed them to simulate a Congressional office and election.
At Thursday evening's banquet, Katie Bonner, Texas Farm Bureau's 2010 Free Enterprise Speech Contest winner presented her award-winning speech as a part of "Farm Bureau Scholarship Opportunities;" Neal Jeffrey, a motivational speaker, shared his personal message of "Faster, Higher, Stronger."
Students who complete the Youth Leadership Conference and have given a speech on free enterprise to at least five groups will have taken the first step toward qualifying for the Free Enterprise Speech contest, which awards more than $19,000 in scholarships.