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Hubbard County We Decide group sharpens skills

We Decide (Submitted photo)

By Anna Erickson

Hubbard County youth are bringing back new ideas to share with their classmates after a Youth Leadership Academy conference in September.

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services hosted the sixth YLA for select youth participating in a Planning and Implementation (P&I) community youth group, as well as parents/guardians of those youth.

Students who attended from Hubbard County are part of We Decide, the local youth group that is part of the Hubbard In Prevention (HIP) alcohol prevention initiative.

We Decide is a student organization that encourages making good choices regarding alcohol use. The group has started a dialogue among peers about alcohol use perception.

The two-day academy provided youth and adults from communities across the state an opportunity to interact with one another and learn about leadership skills they can use in their communities. Students from Park Rapids, Nevis and Laporte attended.

Park Rapids ninth-grader and We Decide member Tiarra May said YLA was a lot of fun and she learned a lot.

“The speakers were really good and we did a lot of different sessions,” she said.

She’s excited to utilize some of what she learned in her photo voice project. The photo voice project involves students capturing how they see Park Rapids – the good and the bad.

We Decide member and Park Rapids senior Zach Jewison said he loved this year’s YLA.

“The speakers really interacted with us and got us involved,” he said.

He too said the photo voice project is coming along.

Students will display their project at locations around town once it is complete.

For more information about We Decide and Hubbard in Prevention, go to

Youth Leadership Academy attendees included front, from left, Cielo Mooney, Paige Poehler, Tiarra May, Zach Jewison, Kylee Roy, Calvin Bateman, Tegan Nelmark and Greta May. Second row, from left, Isaac Pizarro, Hannah Bliss, Kaitlyn Bjorkstrand, Allison Booker, Samantha Wormley, Bradley Graham, Zachary Behrens, Hannah Hensel, Beth Heltunen and Kari May. Back, from left, Teresa Halverson, Marissa Hallett, Alexis King, Conley Anderson, Heidi Wormley, Victor Mastley, Mikayla Kamphaus and Aleesha Corson. Not pictured: Angela Graham, Brian Wormley and Jordan Spenst.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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