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Street Safety for Students in Newport, ME

Community issue: Located less than half a mile apart, students from Sebasticook Valley Middle School and Nokomis Regional High School often walk between campuses to meet siblings and friends or to use athletic fields.  Because there was no walkway, students were forced to walk on the road, which was especially dangerous considering the high percentage of inexperienced teen drivers around the high-school.   

 How it was addressed: As a result of a 4-H Leadership weekend, students in the middle school's Catalyst Leadership Group formed a plan to construct a safe walking path between the two schools.  To get this plan approved, they spoke with community leaders, school administration, and contractors.  To fund the $6,000 project, the students received four grants and fundraised additional money through sales in the school store and a silent auction. 

Results:  $4,000 was made possible by the 4-H Engaging Youth, Serving Communities grant program,  and the club was able to raise the remaining $2,000 through their fundraising activities.  The path was constructed and more than 750 students and staff are now able to walk safely between the schools.   

What happens next? The students in the Catalyst Leadership Group are actively seeking ways to solve other problems in their community.  They recently held a community-wide forum to learn about why students drop out of high school, and are beginning to find ways to address this issue.