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Registration now open for annual Step Up Youth Challenge

Step Up Youth Challenge Administrators from instructional day and after school programs are invited to register a team of their students in the annual Step Up Youth Challenge. This impactful program is open to teams of middle and high school students. The Youth Challenge is designed to engage a diverse group of students in a project-based learning experience over the course of the 2015-16 school year. Last year, teams of middle and high school students from throughout Tulare County developed 24 inspiring school- and community-based projects and competed for grants totaling $30,000. The Step Up Youth Challenge and the grant awards are provided by the Tulare County Gang Prevention Task Force.

The 2015-2016 Youth Challenge is limited to 20 middle school teams and 15 high school teams (one team per school only). Reservations can be made online at Once registered, the teamís student advisor must attend a training September 24 at the Tulare County Office of Education. When selecting a teamís advisor, administrators should consider someone with an ability to connect with youth. Successful advisors have come from a variety of backgrounds, including ASB leaders, after school site coordinators, campus administrators and classroom teachers.

On October 21, advisors and students will attend a Challenge Summit at the Visalia Convention Center. Following the summit, teams will have nearly six months to develop a unique project designed to make a positive difference on their campus or within their community. Throughout the process, the teams will be supported by members of the Challenge Committee.

Step Up Youth Challenge

For more information on the Step Up Youth Challenge, contact Robert Herman at, or call (559) 733-6606.

Photos above:
~ As part of the 2014-15 Step Up Youth Challenge, students from Valley Oak Middle School (Visalia) designed a water conservation awareness campaign for their school. Team members gave presentations to their classmates on the seriousness of the drought and ways they and their families could conserve water. For their work, the Valley Oak Middle School team won "Best Overall" in the middle school category.
~ Mission Oak High School (Tulare) was the "Best Overall" winner in the Step Up Youth Challenge high school category for their Harvesting Hope project. This year, students continued to work with local farmers and food banks to harvest remaining produce for distribution to families in need, while expanding the program to other Tulare County high schools.