For Immediate Release
August 21, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Dropout Prevention Summit's Youth Council Announced

Capturing Voice of Youth Integral Part of Summit Planning

Kansas DropINs, a statewide collaboration committed to dropout prevention and spearheaded by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), announced today the selection of 16 Kansas youth to serve on the state’s Dropout Prevention Summit’s Youth Council.

“Each of these tremendous young Kansans have an acute awareness of the state’s dropout crisis,” said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “The unique and diverse perspective that each brings to the council will be invaluable as we work to ensure stronger, healthier Kansas communities.”

Youth Council members will be involved in all aspects of the state’s Dropout Prevention Summit on October 20, 2009 at Wichita State University’s Rhatigan Student Center, serving as regional youth liaisons to the statewide planning committee and coordinators of a corresponding half-day youth summit.

The council is sponsored in part by the Kansas Volunteer Commission, the Kansas Parent Information Resource Center, and CVS Pharmacies. Youth Council Members include:

Jake Potts, Basehor; Michael Palcher, Edwardsville; Kelsey Dreiling, Shawnee; Keil Eggers, Lawrence; Khalia Canty, Topeka; Jecilyn Antoni, Weir; Killashandra Nichols, Pittsburg; Alex Beck, Newton; Meghan Keese, Winfield; D’Abreian Bush, Wichita; Carmen White, Wichita; Rebecca Leite, Salina; Natalie Umberger, Manhattan; Zach Miller, Goodland; Courtnie Ochs, Garden City; and Manuel Acosta, Ulysses.

In addition to the Summit’s Youth Council, Kansas DropINs will capture the state’s youth voice through an online survey recently launched on the Kansas DropINs website at www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=4348.  Youth of all ages and backgrounds are invited to take the survey, offering an important voice in the dropout solution.

The Summit is funded through a grant received by the America’s Promise Alliance, a national organization committed to ending the nation’s dropout crisis, and a generous donation by State Farm Insurance.  Kansas DropINs was formed in 2008 and is tasked with the planning the state’s Dropout Prevention Summit.  For more information about the summit or Kansas DropINs visit: www.kansasdropins.org