Rosemary Wu, a Lawrence High School senior active in community service, hopes a state conference she attended this week will pave the way for encouraging other Kansas youth to get involved in their communities.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Wu attended a planning conference in Topeka to help Kansas win a grant through the National and Community Service Act. The law is designed "to promote an ethic of civic responsibility, to enable all, but particularly young, Americans to make a substantial commitment to service."
Coordinated by the State Department of Education and Kansas State University, the conference involved about 120 participants, ranging from educators to college students to representatives of various social service agencies.
Wu, the only high school-aged participant, had been recommended for the conference by Linda Clark, sponsor of the National Honors Society at LHS.
CONFERENCE participants broke into groups to discuss how the state could foster greater commitment to community service among the residents of Kansas communities.
"Each group came up with several proposals that we hopefully will act upon," Wu said.
She said one proposal was for communities to establish "student school boards," in which students would work with public school officials to plan community service activities for youth.
Linda Bachelor, who works with the KSU Community Service Program, said that once a draft grant proposal is developed, several regional meetings will be held throughout the state to get further input on the proposal. The state is expected to submit its final grant proposal in December.
WU HAS SERVED as a volunteer nurse assistant at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and as a volunteer lab assistant at Kansas University. She also participated last school year in the Youth in Local Government program, serving as a student representative on the board of directors of the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.
Wu said that attending the American Legion Auxiliary's Sunflower Girls State this summer probably helped her in representing high school students at this week's conference.
"I got to talk to a lot of girls from other parts of the state," Wu said.