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BCTR at SUNY Day 2013

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Kimberly Kopko

On February 11th, 2013, Cornell Cooperative Extension/College of Human Ecology student summer interns, along with Kimberly Kopko, from the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, attended SUNY (State University of New York) Day 2013 in the Legislative Office Building in Albany, New York. The theme of SUNY Day 2013 was experiential education, showcasing the benefits of co-ops, internships, service-learning, volunteerism, clinical preparation, research, and entrepreneurial work. The event enabled campuses to display recent activities and programs that exemplify experiential learning to state legislative leaders.

Lydia Gill and Robert Neff, students in the College of Human Ecology, displayed their summer 2012 internship projects at the event. Lydia’s project presented the PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) Partnership Model in New York State. John Eckenrode, Ph.D., served as faculty sponsor for the PROSPER summer internship. The focus of Robert’s project was research for continuous improvement of 4-H in New York State. Stephen Hamilton, Ph.D. supervised the 4-H summer internship project.

The Cornell Office of Government Relations in Albany arranged meetings with legislators for participating Cornell staff and students. Lydia Gill and Kimberly Kopko met with Senator Thomas O'Mara's staff. Senator O'Mara represents Schuyler County, one of the PROSPER pilot counties where Lydia'a project was focused (the other pilot site is Livingston County). Robert Neff met with Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, who represents Kenmore County, where Robert lives. Kimberly, Lydia, and Robert met with Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and her staff. Assemblywoman Lupardo chairs the Assembly Children & Family Services committee. In addition to these meetings with legislators, the group also met with staff from the Farm Bureau.


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CITIZEN U youth delegates met with state legislators during 4-H Capital Days

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Delegates from Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Broome and Monroe Counties represented the CITIZEN U Project at the 77th Annual 4-H Capital Days in Albany, March 5-7. This year’s Capital Days had 108 youth delegates, representing 35 counties. The 4-H delegates were formally recognized on the Senate floor for being part of a “great youth development organization.”

CITIZEN U is a five-year federally funded project of the Children, Youth, and Families At Risk (CYFAR) Program. The project focuses on civic engagement and workforce preparation for teens 14-18 years old. CITIZEN U is a double entendre for "CITIZEN YOU" and a metaphor for creating a "University" environment in which teens are empowered to become community change agents.

The CITIZEN U delegates to 4-H Capital Days discussed the importance of CITIZEN U with their legislators and described the community improvement projects they are working on in their home counties. The 4-H Capital Days gives youth opportunities to meet their local representatives and opportunities to network with other 4-H delegates. Young people get a first-hand understanding how state government works and learn about government and public service careers.

Juwan Johnson, Jai'quan Caesar, Amanda Marquez, Shaniyah Way, CITIZEN U, CCE Broome County meet with Senator Libous

The CITIZEN U Teen Leaders from Broome County met with State Senator Tom Libous, and Anne Richmond, Executive Assistant to Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo at the Legislative Breakfast. Jai’quan Caesar, Amanda Marquez, Shaniyah Way, and Juwan Johnson explained to their legislators what it meant to them to be “agents of change” and how they were working hard to improve Binghamton.

July, 2011 Cornell Chronicle article on CITIZEN U

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