Youth Conference Results in Action
During the Youth Civic Leadership Summit (YCLS) in March 2016, MCB & 4-H youth were challenged to develop a service-learning project to implement in their community. They were provided with a mini-seed grant application ($200) and an MCB matching grant application ($200) to assist with the implementation of their projects.
Four MCB/4-H Youth Groups accepted the challenge and welcomed the opportunity to serve their communities. The results of their efforts are showcased below.
Lamar/Barton County
Marshall The Miracle Dog -- Anti-Bullying Program

Barton County Teen Leaders developed and implemented the "Marshall The Miracle Dog Anti-Bullying Program". This program was presented to 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students within the Lamar School District. The teen leaders read the Marshall books to the students, presented a short video and had a discussion with the students about bullying in an effort to raise awareness and create an opportunity for students to share should they experience or observe bullying in the school or community. They also provided a 3rd grade coloring contest and a 4th & 5th grade essay contest where they choose the top three outstanding entries in each class.
Higginsville/Lafayette County
The Farm Tour

The Higgingsville/Lafayette County youth group planned the 2nd Annual Lafayette County 4-H Farm Tour. This tour showcases various agricultural businesses in the community and educates youth on potential agriculture opportunities. Their tasks included soliciting businesses who would like to participate, developing and coordinating a schedule, marketing/advertising the event, providing a follow up survey and establishing a committee for future Farm Tours.

Louisiana Community Betterment Youth Group
New Basketball Court in Sunset Park

LCB (Louisiana Community Betterment) is pleased to have some dynamo youth as part of their group. After attending the youth summit in March, entitled "Spark" the LCB Youth, Chadwick Dowell, Katelyn Watts, Tyler Hopkins and Michelle Watts, brought their idea back to the Louisiana community and made it come true!
The youth group created a community project that they felt would benefit the entire community and they sought the necessary permission from the city government to implement the idea. Through a series of collaborations with the Louisiana High School Interact Club and grants from Missouri Community Betterment and Missouri 4 H Club, the youth presented the idea of a new basketball court to be installed at Sunset Park on Georgia Street to the Mayor and City Council members of Louisiana.
The youth group not only laid out a comprehensive plan for the construction, but also for the future upkeep of the basketball court and added 2 additional park benches into the plan.
The basketball court was completed exactly 3 months to the day after the ground breaking for the project.Submitted by Diana Huckstep, LCB Advisor.

Perry County/Perryville
Agriculture and YOUth

The Perry County 4-H Teen Council and Community Betterment Youth Group created a hands-on interactive exhibit that taught youth about agriculture and where their food comes from during their annual Mayfest event. They had exhibit stations which demonstrated seed planting, cow milking, agricultural products, grains, animals and bees. The teens were involved in the planning and development of the exhibit and helped demonstrate and answer questions at each station during the event.
As you can see, the ideas derived from planning sessions at the Youth Civic Leadership Summit earlier this year have resulted in substantial benefits throughout these and many other communities in Missouri.

The 2017 Youth Civic Leadership Summit will be held March 3-5 at Windermere Baptist Conference Center in Roach, MO. Additional information will be sent to you via e-mail and available on the MCB Website as it becomes available. YCLS is an amazing event that fosters leadership and community involvement among our youth and allows for them to network with others with similar interests.

You can view photos and information from the 2016 YCLS event by visiting the MCB Website.

Contact Teresa Keller if you have any questions about this opportunity.



“The Missouri Partnership frequently works with companies looking in Missouri for potential locations to set up new operations.  We firmly believe that communities that invest in continuous improvement and ‘quality of place’ enjoy a competitive advantage in their efforts to attract new jobs and investment.  Companies searching for a new home will always favor a community that takes pride in itself and strives to better itself every day, and the Missouri Community Betterment program helps communities across the state to do just that.” Christopher Chung, CEO, Missouri Partnership

“Missouri Community Betterment is a tremendous association that recognizes the efforts and achievements of our state’s rural communities. As a former youth member, community member and State Board Member I am a product of the leadership development promoted by the association.” - US Congressman Jason Smith

“The MFA Oil Foundation’s mission is to support and invest in communities where we do business, to assure their continued prosperity. MCB’s mission is to provide assistance to many of those same communities to help them with improvement projects. With similar missions it seems only fitting that our Foundation should support MCB with the work that they do. As a MCB board member I have been very impressed with the dedication of many of the local community leaders as they attempt to make their town the best it can be”.  - Ken Caspall, MFA Foundation

The MCB conference provides networking for youth groups to learn what other communities have done and an opportunity to develop new plans for projects in their own home towns.  Developing leadership capacity and confidence in their abilities to work with adults gives the MCB youth participants great preparation for college and beyond. - Dave Garnett, Hawthorn Bancshares

MCB has helped me develop skills to be a leader in my school and community. Through my involvement in the youth program I have gained confidence and communication skills. The three MCB conferences I attended were fun and motivating. Having the opportunity to hear what others were doing to help their community has helped me bring new ideas to my town. Community Betterment has motivated my entire youth team to improve our community throughout the year. - Kenna Roland, Senior 2014, Lamar (2013 MCB Youth Leadership Award Winner)

“As a MCB board member I have had a chance to observe first hand, how enthusiastically some of the MCB participating community’s youth become engaged in the projects they initiate in their communities.  These youth are the leaders of tomorrow and the leadership skills demonstrated in the local projects they under take can be exemplary.   Youth leadership recognition and civic engagement  is just another reason why the MFA Oil Foundation is a willing MCB Sponsor”. - Ken Caspall, MFA Oil Foundation

"Missouri Community Betterment and the Missouri Community Betterment Conferences have been a blessing to the youth in Steelville. The sessions and guidance given during the MCB conferences has allowed us to improve our community in many various ways." - Libby Wynn, Steelville Youth Group 

"The Missouri Community Betterment Program is one of the best values a rural community can invest in to access professional assistance in community planning, development and technical expertise." - Kelly Smith, Missouri Farm Bureau

"MCB has provided our rural community with resources and opportunities to implement projects and help grow community support.  MCB allows our youth an avenue to be involved on a much larger scale in the growth and development of our community.  I have been involved with MCB for 25 years and the experiences I have been able to share with the youth of our community have truly been priceless.  Being involved with MCB, has opened many doors for our community, but the greatest reward for me has been the positive impact on our youth and the leadership opportunities provided to them." - Jodie Cottrell, youth group leader , Steelville

“We invest in Missouri Community Betterment because we see firsthand the success the program is having in rural communities throughout the state. While across the Midwest we are seeing Main Streets close up shop, MCB communities continue to grow and provide a better quality of life for Missourians.” - Mark Woodson, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.

“Founded by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Missouri Community Betterment has provided outstanding technical assistance to Missouri’s rural communities for more than 50 years.  The support, energy, and success of the MCB program has continued to give participating communities the opportunity to thrive in today’s economy and make Missouri feel like home to growing businesses.” - Mike Downing, Director of Missouri Department of Economic Development

"Our Youth are just in awe of everything they did at conference and are ready to undertake all sorts of new challenges.  I was so proud or Kirk, who spoke at at a grant acceptance ceremony on Wednesday (week after the 2015 conference).  He spoke to 30 adults and stayed calm as a cucumber  and was the hit of the show.  Without the leadership skills he learned at the conference, I don’t know if he would have been so sure of himself.  Thanks is not enough, but the only word in English we have available." - Connie Johnson, Galena

In my opinion MCB has helped communities in our region by giving them a sense or organization/structure to go about improving their community on their own.  They have access to resources and a network to assist them in achieving their goals and it keeps community development in front of them all the time by having this nucleus active in the community.
Jackie Soptic, Assistant Director, Green Hills Regional Planning Commission

Missouri Community Betterment Educational Fund Inc.,
P.O. Box 105997, Jefferson City, MO 65110
Phone:660.383.1034 Fax:660.383.1202