Young leaders "Make a Difference" Conference is Feb. 12 at Fortune Bay

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Extension Office • 2503 Rice Lake Road • Duluth, MN 55811 • (218) 733-2870

307 First Street S., Suite 105 • Virginia, MN 55792 • (218) 749-7120

Patty Swedberg
Extension Administrator


February 5, 2018

CONTACT: Patty Swedberg

St. Louis County Extension Administrator

(218) 733-2879

Make a Difference Conference for youth is February 12.

The annual conference that features workshops presented by students for students is back for its twenty third year. The Young Leaders' Make a Difference Conference is February 12 at Fortune Bay Resort, from 9:15 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Approximately 360 students in grades 9-12 from Iron Range and Duluth area high schools are registered to participate in this half day of inspiration and sharing.


The Make a Difference conference is presented by the St. Louis County Youth in Action Program and funded in part by the St. Louis County Board and numerous local organizations, businesses and colleges.


Youth in Action members have put together eight workshops to present at the conference. Topics include resiliency, positive thinking, coping skills, the benefits of giving back, basic first aid, healthy eating in college, applying music to fun and play, and tips to make the school day easier. Students presenting at the conference come from Cherry, Chisholm, Ely, Hibbing, Mesabi East, Northwoods, Southridge and Virginia High Schools.


Keynote speaker this year is Rick Gertsema, a licensed psychologist and manager of Child/Adolescent Behavioral Health at Essentia Health Duluth. Gertsema will speak about mental health during his presentation, "The Power of AND".  Also taking the stage will be comedian, magician and motivational speaker Mark Robinson. His presentation is entitled, "The Little Things That Matter."

Youth in Action is a service organization involving students from schools throughout the Iron Range and now in the Duluth area. Its mission is to promote youth leadership and bring positive change to northern Minnesota. The Young Leaders Conference got its start back in 1996 with the goal of bringing together youth from across the Iron Range for a day of presentations by students for students.

To learn more about Youth in Action or the Young Leaders' Make a Difference conference, visit or call 218-749-7120.