My first few weeks with Siempre Sustainable Seguin have been action packed. Every day is filled with new information, new people, new connections, and new experiences. I have spent a considerable amount of time researching the history of the city of Seguins statistics including: population, income, transportation, and education among other data that will be used at a symposium on Environmental Justice. The other major focus has been on doing two presentations, one in Gonzales Texas to help get a Youth Engagement Day organized and scheduled for next year, and the other presentation was this week.
I represented Ogallala Commons as an intern at the Texas Rural Challenge conference held in Waco Texas. The conference is focused on providing an opportunity for rural Texans and communities to come together and speak of topics of importance to their livelihood such as economic development, community development, and sustainability of their regions. There were many interesting people and topics covered. I enjoyed the speech given by Pati Jacobs the CEO of Bastrop Cattle Company, she pointed out many issues that were unknown to me like the rise of cattle rustling and the lack of youth to hire as ranch hands. I also met a county judge and two mayors among others who also echoed the fact that youth are vanishing from rural areas. This information added validity to the reason I was there. My presentation was on Youth Engagement, along with two gentlemen from Pioneer Youth Programs (a similar program to Ogallala Commons) we covered many topics that seemed to be of interest to the general audience. The feedback we received in the end was very positive and promising, I feel that these programs are going to provide great pathways for many youth to come.