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Ashburn Blog: Step Up Youth Loudoun Competition accepting applications

Registration is currently open for middle and high schoolers in Loudoun County to enter the Step Up Loudoun Youth Competition. One of the many programs offered by Loudoun Youth, Inc., this competition gives youth in our county the opportunities and tools they need to develop confidence in their ability to positively impact their peers, the community and their future. The Step Up Loudoun Youth Competition encourages middle and high school youth across the county to identify an issue in their school, neighborhood or community, create a plan to address that issue, and implement the plan. The goal is to encourage, support and reward the youth of Loudoun County for making positive changes in their own lives and the lives of others.

Held annually since 2004, the Step Up Loudoun Youth Competition is a program of Loudoun Youth Inc. in partnership with Loudoun County Parks, Recreation & Community Services. Those who wish to register can do so as individuals or as members of a team. Students create and implement plans to address issues and improve our community. All youth are recognized, and the top ten teams win monetary prizes between $100-$1000.

In recent years, subject matter has been varied and diverse. Past teams have addressed serious issues that are currently affecting our community, such as distracted driving, bullying and teen suicide. Other youth have implemented equally effective projects involving environmental cleanup and making and distributing hygiene kits to the homeless in our community. Last year’s winner developed a free machine to combat cyber threats.

“To see what the youth in our county are capable of is truly inspiring,” said Michelle Jones, Program Director at Loudoun Youth, Inc. “The ideas and initiatives that come out of this competition year after year really do make a difference in our community, and the leadership experience and confidence that these middle and high schoolers gain from participating is invaluable.”

Registration closes on December 15, 2017. Once registered, students work on their chosen projects with teammates, parents, teachers and school counselors in preparation for the Step Up Loudoun Youth Competition, to be held on April 5 at the LCPS Administration Building. The top ten teams will advance to a final round of judging to take place April 12. Both events are open to the public.

The competition is supported by Loudoun County Public Schools and sponsored by the YouthQuest Foundation. Registration information can be found at http://www.loudounyouth.org/programs-2/the-step-up-loudoun-youth-competition/.
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