Youth Engagement programs are geared toward expanding the career horizons for youth while connecting them with their communities. Ultimately, creating pathways back to that community while expanding career options through work experience and skills building. Youth engagement programming works to equip and empower youth to influence and lead the development work in their communities.


A half-day event hosted with a local school or community organization designed to be an immersive exploration of a communities strengths using the lens of the 12 Key Assets of Commonwealth. Students learn about the asset-based approach to community mapping, visit sites and organizations in their community, hear from young adults who have moved back to their community, and discuss ways to cultivate the assets already present in their community. Students are introduced to entrepreneurship and internship opportunities as well.


A multi-day event hosted virtually or in a community to introduce students to entrepreneurship, basic entrepreneurial skills, and successful entrepreneurs from their communities and beyond. Students learn about entrepreneurship and begin to explore their own entrepreneurial ideas.


Youth Entrepreneur Fair (E-Fair) is a morning-to-afternoon event in which youth entrepreneurs submit a business plan for a “conceptual” or a “ready-to-go” enterprise (two different categories). 

Individual or entrepreneur teams are awarded cash prizes by a group of judges, based on these categories: Business Plan, Interview with Judges, Booth Presentation at the Fair, Strategy to Finance the Business or Concept Idea, Network of Resources to Support Business or Concept. Our Youth Entrepreneur Fairs, which began in 2007, have been hosted in various locations across the Texas, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Each year, our youth entrepreneurship programs reach on average 3,000 high school and college students, and with the help of our partners, we contribute more than $12,000 of cash prizes to aspiring youth entrepreneurs each year.

If you are interested in participating in this program, would like to sponsor an Entrepreneur Fair or for more information, contact Megan England at



A 12-month program to mentor young entrepreneurs (grades 9-12), helping them develop and launch their ventures. The program includes a self-paced online curriculum, technical assistance, peer-peer learning, and registration to the Entrepreneurship track of our annual summer retreat.


Ogallala Common’s Youth Engagement Day provides an opportunity for students in grades 7 – 12 to explore and connect to their “E-Dream” and the potential of entrepreneurship, the impact of businesses in the local community, and the passion of successful hometown leaders.

The event is a morning-to-lunch program held at a regional site (large gathering area, school auditorium or regional college) where youth from several schools hear the message that their communities and region want them to come back home, when they choose and when they are ready. Other activities address careers and opportunities that create viable pathways to “come home.”

Finally, all those attending an Engagement Day are encouraged to participate in a Youth Entrepreneur Fair.

If you are interested in having a Youth Engagement Day in your community or if you would like for your school to participate in an established Youth Engagement Day event, contact Megan England at

Major Partners