College students from throughout southeast Ohio gathered in the Smith Library of Muskingum University on March 22 to take part in the Propel Ohio Regional Meeting. The meeting included various activities to promote the understanding of childhood poverty in the state. Propel Ohio, launched in 2015 by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, is a leadership program that promotes civic engagement at the collegiate level.
“As Senator Brown notes, poverty, especially among children, is one of Ohio's most pressing problems,” said Keith Eberly, assistant professor of education at Muskingum University. “We want students to walk away with not only a new knowledge of the issues and the solutions, but also an awareness that they can get involved right now to make an immediate difference.”
The Regional Meeting included a Q&A with an panel which included Dr. Jacqueline Yahn, assistant professor and the Middle Childhood Education Program Coordinator for Ohio University Eastern; Jennifer Mahoney, licensed social worker for Muskingum County Head Start/Early Head Start; Lesha Farias, a representative of the Zanesville Think Tank on Poverty; and Janelle Guentter, a pediatric nurse and assistant professor of nursing at Muskingum University.
In addition, there were breakout sessions and an Involvement Fair, an outline of ways students can get involved in their communities. Sessions addressed topics such as education, health care, child care and food insecurity.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Campus Compact builds democracy through civic education and community development.
Propel Ohio inspires undergraduate students to grow into civic leaders in Ohio. The organization features a one-day statewide conference in the fall and five Propel Ohio Regional Gatherings in the winter and spring.
Watch our short recap video below.