High school students from Hill Country area schools in Pioneers Youth Leadership attended the Pioneers State Leadership Forum in Austin last week. Over two days, the students worked with state agencies and elected officials to address the challenges faced by rural Texas communities regarding water conservation, youth leadership education, and economic development.

The Pioneers students and leadership and staff from the Texas Water Development Board worked together on youth water conservation education modeled after programs the students had conducted in their schools. The students also worked with leadership and staff from the Texas Department of Agriculture to develop ideas for new businesses in rural communities and the Texas Education Agency on teaching youth leadership and character development in schools.

The Pioneers students also met with Representative Andrew Murr, Representative Tracy King, Senator Carlos Uresti, and other political and business leaders. “Congratulations to these emerging community leaders,” said Representative Andrew Murr. “They are working on issues that are important to Texas – water, schools and jobs.”

Pioneers Youth Leadership is a leadership and community development program for students in grades 10-12. “The students in Pioneers are working to make their school, their community and our State of Texas better,” said Real County Judge and Pioneers co-founder Garry Merritt. “I am proud of them for stepping up the challenge.”

More information on Pioneers Youth Leadership is available at www.pioneersyouthleadership.org.