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Youth Philanthropy Conference Held in Springfield

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/youthphila_1458.mp3

More than 100 students from across Southwest Missouri participated today in a conference on youth philanthropy. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

More than 100 students from across Southwest Missouri participated today (Tuesday) in a conference on youth philanthropy.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks hosted the first ever Youth Empowerment Project conference.

The Youth Empowerment Project is an initiative that allows groups of young people to make grants to projects that benefit young people and the broader community.

Randy Russell is Senior Program Officer for the Community Foundation and organized the conference.

Presenters at the conference were students who have been involved in the Youth Empowerment Project.

Students like Mary Neely, a senior at Greenwood Laboratory School in Springfield and a member of the program for the last 2 years.

She gave the students who are new to youth philanthropy some advice.

Neely says the Springfield students who have participated in the Youth Empowerment Project are proud of the programs they've chosen to fund.

She says once, the group provided funds to a local elementary school that wanted to take its students on a camping trip.

Those who oversee the Youth Empowerment Project say the high school students take seriously their grant-making responsibilities.

Randy Russell with the Community Foundation says the students carefully consider the grant requests they receive.

Organizers say they hope to make the Youth Empowerment Project conference an annual event.