Jr. REAL Events Begin to Offer Valuable Information to High School Students

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South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) is bringing its Junior Rural Economics and Leadership (Jr. REAL) Development Program to students from over a dozen high schools through the month of November.

Jr. REAL is an innovative leadership development program that invests in high school juniors and seniors and presents a comprehensive one-day seminar to students. Student participants engage in hands-on exercises while learning techniques to articulate civic responsibility. The conference focuses on leadership development, credit issues and identity theft, life skills, and motivation. This program will be presented by various speakers including community members and businessmen and women.

Motivational speaker and author of the book, The Richest Man in Town, V.J. Smith of Brookings will address the students along with professional speakers Malcom Chapman of Rapid City and Gloria Schaefer of Kennebec. SDFU Membership Director Garret Bischoff will lead a discussion on credit cards and identity theft.

“Kids are leaving our rural towns and Jr. REAL is a program focused on building leaders in small communities that will hopefully stay there and work to make their community better,” said SDFU Rural Development Director Mitch Fargen. “This program not only brings valuable information to young people about credit issues, it also builds up tomorrow’s leaders and shows them how they can make a difference.”

The students will apply their leadership skills while taking an active role in their hometowns through community service and leadership projects as a follow-up. As a result of Jr. REAL, the students enhance their personal and civic responsibilities as positive citizens of rural South Dakota and learn about taking ownership of responsibility for self, family, and community. This may include, but is not limited to involvement in government, church, volunteerism, and/or becoming a member of a voluntary association.

Here is the 2011 Jr. REAL schedule:

October 17 - Newell High School
October 18 - Harding County High School
October 19 - Mobridge High School
October 20 - Faulkton High School

November 7 - Wolsey/Wessington High School
November 8 - Woonsocket High School
November 9 - Lake Preston High School
November 10 - Sioux Valley High School (Volga)
November 14 - Chester Area High School
November 15 - Flandreau High School

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