UMN Morris welcomes area high school students for Morris Challenge Rural Youth Institute

Sue Dieter
A group of 100 high school students gathered on the UMN Morris campus mall with the student center building behind them.
Participants in the Morris Challenge Rural Youth Institute gather for a photo on the UMN Morris campus mall.

The University of Minnesota Morris welcomed 120 high school students and teachers from throughout west central Minnesota to learn more about rural community sustainability efforts as part of the Morris Challenge Rural Youth Institute, which was held on Nov. 9, 2022. 

This interactive, one-day event was designed for students and their teachers to create connections and gain the “know how” needed to address the sustainability challenges in their own rural community.  

Area high schools that had students and teachers participating were: Bertha-Hewitt; Chokio Alberta; Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley; Hancock; Herman-Norcross; Kalon Prep; Kimball Area; Minnewaska Area; Montevideo; Parkers Prairie; Pelican Rapids; and West Central Area.

As part of the event, participants were given tours of the UMN Morris campus, the West Central Research and Outreach Center, and Fresha, LLC, a local carrot processing plant.

Morris Challenge Director Doug Reed said, “Youth voices are essential to creating thriving rural communities. As a public land-grant institution, UMN Morris is particularly well-positioned to support rural young people in exploring how to help their schools and communities start on their own sustainability journey.”