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UT launches global leadership camp

The University of Toledo is launching Youth Nations, a week-long, global leadership experience geared towards high school students who are between their junior and senior year.

The event runs Sunday, July 20 through Friday, July 25.

A number of featured speakers will address Youth Nations participants.

Van Jones, co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire,” will present on Thursday, July 24 at 9 a.m. Jones is also the president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a national advocacy organization working towards a fairer economy. Andrew Jenks, award-winning filmmaker and face of MTV’s 2012 Presidential Election coverage, will speak on Tuesday, July 22 at 9 a.m.

Award-winning educator Dr. Clinton Longenecker will address event participants on Monday, July 21 at 9:30 a.m. Longenecker is UT’s Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Organizational Excellence. Dr. Lakeesha Ransom, dean of the UT Jesup Scott Honors College, will present on Wednesday, July 23 at 9 a.m.

Each presentation will take place in Doermann Theater, located on the third floor of University Hall.

Youth Nations creates an opportunity for more than 130 high school students to learn about global issues including human trafficking, international cyber security, fuel sustainability and the global economy. Participants will work in groups to develop and present problem-solving plans, competing for UT scholarships.

“We’re trying to infuse in the students the idea that they can change the world by studying these global issues and then critically thinking about what steps are necessary to potentially solve them,” said Paulette Bongratz, UT enrollment specialist and Youth Nations coordinator.

In addition to leadership presentations and workshops, participants will experience life on UT’s campus including staying in the residence halls and spending time at the Rec Center.

“I have two major goals for Youth Nations. One is for the students to have an awesome memory to link to our campus and to see a lot of different aspects of the University and see what we have to offer,” Bongratz said. “The other goal is that they leave feeling empowered and ultimately make the choice to be involved in community service projects, to make a difference.”

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