• Teen and adult leaders representing county 4-H programs and community betterment groups learn connections between leadership and courage at the Missouri Youth Civic Leaders Summit.
    Teen and adult leaders representing county 4-H programs and community betterment groups learn connections between leadership and courage at the Missouri Youth Civic Leaders Summit.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Almost 160 teens and adults attended the 2018 Missouri Youth Civic Leaders Summit near Camdenton in March. Youth and adult teams gathered from more than 20 county 4-H programs and community betterment groups across Missouri.

Organizers say the goal of this year’s event, themed “The Courage to Lead,” was to inspire leaders of all ages to lead with courage built on a foundation of character and commitment to service.

Carey Portell, motivational speaker from St. James, Mo., shared how personal courage, family commitment and support from the Missouri AgrAbility Project empowered her to triumph over major injuries sustained in a car collision.

Dylan Johnson, lead advance staffer for the Missouri governor’s office, spoke on how youth involvement makes the world better, and how his own involvement in government at a young age led him to a role as the state’s youngest executive staff member.

University of Wisconsin Extension 4-H specialist Neil Klemme and his team showed how communities in the Midwest are using “Youth First Impressions” to gain fresh perspectives and ideas on making towns more inviting to visitors.

Youth leaders Mitchell Moon (Missouri 4-H) and Katelyn Watts (Missouri Community Betterment) encouraged participants to make the most out of leadership opportunities available through their organizations.

Lafayette County 4-H and Missouri Community Betterment youth advisers served as hosts for the weekend, contributing hours of planning and on-site leadership through youth-adult partnerships.

Summiteers explored leadership styles, built teamwork and learned how to plan service-learning projects with guidance from Mizzou Alternative Break leaders from the University of Missouri.

They also attended a youth-led civic forum with elected officials, learned how to support rural broadband access in Missouri and weighed in on why Missouri high school graduates choose to move away from or back to their communities.

Youth and adult teams proposed community action projects for 2018 and took first steps to applying for mini-seed-grant funding to implement their ideas. Participants also teamed up with Windermere Conference Center staff and volunteers to complete on-site service projects, contributing time valued at more than $3,000.

The annual event receives generous sponsorship support from Monsanto Co., Cenex Harvest States Foundation, Missouri Community Betterment and the Missouri 4-H Foundation.


More than 55,000 members strong, Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow – making a real difference in their community, country and world. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information, visit

Established in 1963, Missouri Community Betterment (MCB) is designed to help Missouri communities enhance their quality of life through community development, planning and implementation. MCB lends technical assistance recognizing and awarding communities that excel in the program. For more information, visit

Elaine Davis, Barton/Lamar MCB
Kyler Cox, Barton/Lamar MCB
Theodore Crabtree, Barton/Lamar MCB
Matthew Morgan, Barton/Lamar MCB
Brandon Overman, Barton/Lamar MCB
Clayton Winslow, Barton/Lamar MCB
Kelsie Morgan, Barton/Lamar MCB/YAB
Tish Johnson, Boone/Howard
Will Adkins, Boone/Howard
Jonathan Ebbesmeyer, Boone/Howard
Heather Snow, Boone/Howard
Jacob Vaughn, Boone/Howard
Matthew Vaughn, Boone/Howard
Hanna Wilson, Boone/Howard
Wanda Aufdenberg, Cape Girardeau
Bridget Schumer, Cape Girardeau
Caleb Aufdenberg, Cape Girardeau
Hannah Aufdenberg, Cape Girardeau
Lauren Crutsinger, Cape Girardeau
Samuel Koenig, Cape Girardeau
Dalton Seabaugh, Cape Girardeau
Angela Crutsinger, Cape Girardeau/Scott
Renee Peters, Cape Girardeau/Scott
Zach Aufdenberg, Cape Girardeau/Scott
Morgan Crutsinger, Cape Girardeau/Scott
Ashley Fritsche, Cape Girardeau/Scott
Rachel Grubbs, Cape Girardeau/Scott
Adam Koenig, Cape Girardeau/Scott
Shellie Craven, Carroll
Kathy Miller, Carroll
Carisa O'Dell, Carroll
Andrew Craven, Carroll
Katy Grant, Carroll
Kaylee Hall, Carroll
Luke Harman, Carroll
Wesley Miller, Carroll
Keelynne Stanley, Carroll
Cierra Sweeney, Carroll
Nancy Miller, Cass
Emmy Endecott, Cass
Tyler Endicott, Cass
Alisha Ledford, Cass
James Ledford, Cass
Evan Miller, Cass
Annie Nourse, Cass
Woody Springer, Cass
Sarah Morefield, Clay/Platte
Gabriel Farr, Clay/Platte
Courtney Leape, Clay/Platte
Katelyn Leape, Clay/Platte
Alli Loar, Clay/Platte
Angie Poock, Cooper
Adrianna Day, Cooper
Sage Eichenburch, Cooper
Caroline Herigon, Cooper
Justin Luster, Cooper
Maria Poock, Cooper
Bridget Hussey, Fayette MCB
VC Alexander, Fayette MCB
Cameron Bias, Fayette MCB
Murphy Quint, Fayette MCB
Janna Wareham, Henry
Drew Bailey, Henry
Alyssa Engeman, Henry
Brendon Engeman, Henry
Lane Wareham, Henry
Tommy Thomas, Jackson
Marisa Brown, Jackson
Kate Davis, Jackson
Erin Roberts, Jackson
Liz Stoppelman, Jackson
Jessie Furgins, Jackson/Planning  
Sofia Metcalf, Johnson
Shea Fitzgerald, Johnson
Karah Heater, Johnson
Rebekah Papasifakis, Johnson
Tiffany Bergman, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Eric Jackson, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Tonia Zeiler, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Caleb Bergman, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Connor Bergman, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Rebecca Butters, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Michael Dieckmann, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Jacob Hall, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Audrey Phillips, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Haley Schnetzler, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Taylor Scott, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Hunter Todd, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Elliot Zeiler, Lafayette/Ray/Saline
Karla Deaver, Lawrence
Hannah Adams, Lawrence
Abigail McCann, Lawrence
Emily McCann, Lawrence
Sharon Van Dusen, Livingston
Braden Constant, Livingston
Seth Hansen, Livingston
Wade Horton, Livingston
Jesse Huber-Bethards, Livingston
Dolan Huber-Bethards, Livingston
Joe Johnson, Livingston
Meredith Oesch, Livingston
Viki Cadwallader, Louisiana MCB
Spencer Butler, Louisiana MCB
Brooklyn Cadwallader, Louisiana MCB
Maria Gutierrez, Louisiana MCB
Haylee Miller, Louisiana MCB
Abby Moore, Louisiana MCB
Diana Huckstep, Louisiana MCB/YAB
Katelyn Watts, Louisiana MCB/YAB
Tyler Hopkins, Louisiana MCB/YAB
Michelle Watts, Louisiana MCB/YAB
Maria Calvert, Mizzou 4-H
Allison Frappier, Mizzou 4-H
Russ Mitchell, Mizzou 4-H
Emily Schuckenbrock, Mizzou 4-H
Kyle Hansen, Mizzou 4-H
Mitchell Moon, Mizzou 4-H
Mike Coffey, Newton
Ethan Anderson, Newton
Joshua Raben, Newton
Kaleb Vangunda, Newton
Laveda Hrezik, Pettis
Nan Hutcheson, Pettis
Jonathan Curtis, Pettis
Kialee Garrett, Pettis
Chance Jennings, Pettis
Kailee Lewman, Pettis
Zeke Mathis, Pettis
Scarlet Pauley, Pettis
Victoria Price, Pettis
Ada Tucker, Pettis
Alexis Van Brocklin, Pettis
Blake Gazaway, Pettis/Planning  
Amy Fifer, Pleasant Hill MCB
Kennedy Burton, Pleasant Hill MCB
Dawson Sivils, Pleasant Hill MCB
Kim Randolph, St. Francois
Kalia Keith, St. Francois
Bella Randolph, St. Francois
Angie Green, Steelville MCB
Jewel Conaway, Steelville MCB/YAB
Lauren Freeman, Steelville MCB/YAB
Maggie Green, Steelville MCB/YAB
Abigale Ireland, Steelville MCB/YAB
Emily Smith, Steelville MCB/YAB
Izzy Stulce, Steelville MCB/YAB